Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Goodbye Student Loans!

Today is a big day.

This morning I woke up very excited to sit down at the computer and log into my bank account. Let’s be honest, I love doing that everyday, but today was more special because I knew that today I would have enough money to completely pay off my last remaining student loan!

(source

I no longer have student loans.

My education is paid for.

I literally could not sit still enough to click that “Make Payment” button.

Yay!

Making the decision to go into debt for my education was a no-brainer for my 19 year old self. I sat there in the financial aid office filling out a lot of paperwork and picturing myself 5 years in future. I was going to graduate as a pharmacist making a six figure salary and swimming in hundred dollar bills. These few thousand dollars of student loans here and there would be nothing to me in 5 years.

Oh 19 year-old-Racheal, you were so naive. (So naive, in fact, that my user name to my student loan account was actually my name, “Racheal.”) 

The same pattern continued every year during enrollment. My parents helped me out when they could, and gave me a leg up compared to my a lot of my peers, but pharmacy school is expensive people. I graduated in 2009 with 65K in debt and ten years to pay it off.

Today, I don’t regret going into debt for my education-it was the best investment decision I have made to date. However, I do wish I would have lived more thriftily during those five years. Although I worked during college, I never put any of that money towards my education. Instead, I went on trips and enjoyed many nights out to eat. In fact, I lived much more financially free in college making a lot less money than I have since taking FPU and deciding to make becoming debt free a priority.

Either way, those decisions are behind me now and our debt snowball is a rollin’. We have ONE more loan left until we can officially be (non-mortgage) debt free!

Of course, I will keep you updated.

Have a great day! <3

 

Monday, March 30, 2015

An Ode to Ina's Box

Ina’s box was a special part of our family.

I can remember the day the FedEx guy delivered it, full of diapers, toliet paper, and wipes. That day seems so long ago now.

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After I emptied it, Ina immediately climbed inside, and from that moment on the box was her’s.

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That box entertained Ina for hours, holding her most prized possessions.

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It saved me during many an early meeting when I needed something to keep Ina busy for 10 minutes.

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It helped to teach Ina her colors,

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the difference between a mean and nice kitty cat,

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and how to spell her name.

However, yesterday, the box went down a hero. I am sure that is the way the box would have wanted it. It was just that kind of box.

I will forever be grateful to the box for protecting our carpet from Ina’s bodily fluids and will forever regret the decision to not put a diaper on Ina when she was sick.

So this morning, as a drag it out to the curb (I’m truly sorry Mr. Trashman), I will have a moment of silence in remembrance of Ina’s box.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

My Food and Fitness Plan [3/29]

Good Sunday morning!

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How has the weekend treated you so far?  Ours has been both good and bad.

Good: Friday afternoon my in-laws stopped by to see Ina, so I took advantage of the babysitting and ran by the grocery store and then to the pool for a 750 meter swim. Although my cardiovascular endurance has diminished since the last time I swam, it felt amazing to get my heart pumping like that. Someone make me go again soon.

Bad: Poor Ina was sick for the next 18 hours - nothing too serious, just a little upchuck and a low grade fever. Enough to add a few extra loads of laundry and keep us inside most of the day yesterday.

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(popsicles and memas make everything better)

Good: While Ina was resting I completely cleaned out the future nursery’s closet of Dan’s clothes and combined them with mine in the master closet. This task has been looming over my head for weeks, and yesterday I was just going to do his shoes, but once I got started I couldn’t stop.

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Now I feel like I can start the chain of moving events it is going to take to get this nursery together. 

Good: Ina awoke from her nap a new woman yesterday and after we put together every puzzle we own, we bundled up and went on a two mile walk and then played outside on the swing set afterwards. I am so grateful that Ina will still sit in the jogging stroller for 30 to 40 minutes without complaint, but I want to make sure to give her some time to play outside too. 

Bad: I defrosted some leftover soup in water in the sink while we were on our walk. This + sandwiches was our plan for dinner. Apparently the bag had holes in it, so the soup was mixed with the water when we arrived back home.

Good: Dan to the rescue! He stopped by a Mediterranean restaurant on his way home from work and brought home two gyro rice plates. 

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It is both good and bad that we discovered this place. I am gong to need a pretty solid meal plan to not dip into our April restaurant budget early. 

Food

  • Sunday: small group - my mom is making dinner
  • Monday: breakfast for dinner (Dan has the day off work, so I am putting him in charge)
  • Tuesday: sausage, kale, and white bean skillet
  • Wednesday: roast chicken with potatoes, carrots, onion, and a salad
  • Thursday: chicken and veggie fried rice 
  • Friday: cheeseburger salad
  • Saturday: Dan’s birthday - out to eat to celebrate

Fitness

  • Sunday: rest
  • Monday: 750 m swim
  • Tuesday: 3 mile walk
  • Wednesday: rest
  • Thursday: prenatal pilates
  • Friday: 3 mile walk
  • Saturday: rest

What are you up to this week?  Thanks to Mommy Run Fast! for hosting the link-up!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Worth My Time?

Good morning and Happy Friday!

Yesterday I had the best intentions of working out, but instead came home and did nothing with Dan and Ina until bed time. I guess I can’t say we did absolutely nothing, but we didn’t do much, other than sit and talk and throw some tamales on the stove to steam.

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Served with a parmesan kale salad and avocado. 

Trader Joe’s sells fresh tamales now! These are the pork ones (they also sell chicken and vegetarian) and they were pretty good considering they came from a grocery store. Dan and I have dreams of making tamales, but I know it is a pretty tedious process and wonder if it is worth my time? Especially considering the fact that we have a decent size Hispanic community in the town we live in and if we bought them instead they would surely taste better and we would be stimulating the economy.

Other things I would love to do but wonder if they are worth my time:

  • Raise chickens (for fresh eggs). However, right now my father-in-law gets us eggs from him neighbor for a dollar a dozen! It is tough to beat that. 
  • Sew Ina and future baby clothes
  • Plant fruit trees at my grandparents’ farm
  • Yard work in general (I have seriously considered outsourcing this chore).

What about you?

Have a good weekend! 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Although...Thankful Thursday

Good morning! The weekend is so close, but I have a few days of a lot of work to do before then, so let’s get it it!

Yesterday was kind of an off day, but instead of being down about it, let’s find some things to be thankful for.

Although my dryer ate my two maternity tank tops (which I planned to wear everyday for the rest of the pregnancy), I am thankful it left enough strap to tie back together. 

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I will just have bumpy shoulders.

Although Ina didn’t have anything covering her feet yesterday, I am thankful for these princess shoes and their aide in helping us get out of the house with less arguments. 

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Although Dan was in the wrong building, in the wrong women’s health office across the street when my ultrasound started and he couldn’t see the baby in person, I am thankful that the baby is healthy and growing strong and is for sure a girl! Poor Dan was searching for me and couldn’t find me and I kept on telling him to go in the back door and I am afraid the other office almost called security on him. Ha! Although he missed seeing the baby, he was thankful to get a chance to talk to our midwife one more time. We both absolutely love her.

Although Dan doesn’t have technology conquered quite yet, I am thankful that he is at least texting. (We were arguing over how much blow money he had left this month and he won.)

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I am thankful that Dan made dinner last night - meatloaf, green beans, and mashed potatoes - our favorite comfort meal. (There is no “although” to that one!)

Although I couldn’t sleep for hours last night, I am thankful that once I went downstairs and had a little snack, I finally fell asleep. I have never been a midnight snack person, and I hope it doesn’t start now, but I was just so hungry at 3 am. Ha!

What are you thankful for? Any “although”s?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I Do It Myself!

Good morning!

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Sorry for no post yesterday. For the life of me I can’t seem to get it together on Tuesday mornings. It is like I think I have the week under control because I have conquered Monday and then Tuesday comes and BAM, before I know it the clock says 8:32 and I haven’t even begun to take the 10 different bags I have packed out to my car. 

Yesterday was exceptionally bad because it started out with Ina yelling, “Momma! I’m peeing on the carpet!” and didn’t get much better when I reached for the polenta in the pantry and somehow spilled the sugar canister across the shelves onto every single canned good I own. Serves me right for owning sugar.

Other, more positive updates:

-I have two great workouts in for the week - a 3 mile walk on Monday and a pre-natal pilates video on Tuesday, which seems to get more difficult as my belly gets larger.

-Ina and I had a great afternoon yesterday. We played puzzles, read 15 library books (not an exaggeration), and cuddled on our deck watching the rain come down.

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- Dinner on Monday night is going to be a new staple in our house because it was so, so simple. I baked some sweet potatoes, some chicken in BBQ sauce, and roasted some broccoli (all in the same oven at the same time), mixed them all together, added some feta cheese, and it was amazing. 

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Ina ate two servings of everything, including her broccoli. That girl is going to grow two feet this summer.

- Ina helped make this meal by “painting” the olive oil on the sweet potatoes and pouring the BBQ sauce on the chicken.

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She is becoming more independent by the minute and now often protests, “I do it myself!” when I try to help her with something. At first I was very proud of her taking charge, but there are times when it can be frustrating, like when I am already 10 minutes late and she insists on climbing into her carseat without me touching her. If I get impatient and try to intervene, she gets even more upset and has to start the entire process all over again. This has led to the following things happening:

  • I let the dog out and then have to coax him back inside so Ina can open the door for him instead
  • Us spending 14 minutes putting a pair of panties on
  • Peeing on the floor right next to the toliet because she didn’t want me to help her climb on
  • Shoes on the wrong feet
  • One potato with way too much olive oil on it

The list goes on and on. Any advice on fostering that independence in a productive way? 

Have a great Wednesday! 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Short Vegas Trip + My Weekly Plan [3/23]

Happy Monday morning to you! I hope you had a fantastic weekend!

Mine was kind of a whirl-wind. I hopped on a plane Friday afternoon to Las Vegas to celebrate my aunt and uncle’s birthday.

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Although I was only there for 36 hours, there were a few notable activities:

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-Eating at Top of the World - the spinning restaurant on top of the stratosphere. 

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-Filling a pai gow table with my family (my favorite)

-Staying awake until 2 am (I forgot that you really can’t catch up on sleep)

-The guy in front of me in the coffee line had won so much money that he couldn’t fit it all in his pockets and begged to buy my coffee. I later found out he was from Kansas City, which is why he was so nice!

-Staying within my gambling and blow money budget (and still having fun)

Even though I had a great time with my family, I was happy I booked the first flight to KC in the morning, and came home on Sunday afternoon to Ina and Dan. 

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I sure missed them! (Apparently clothes are optional when Daddy is in charge.)

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Soon after I got home my mom came over with my niece and nephew and we had a little dress up party, and then small group came over. Whew - I am crashing as soon as I get home from work tonight - that is- after I go on a walk with Ina. 

Here is the plan(ish) for the week: 

Food

  • Monday: paleo stuffed sweet potatoes
  • Tuesday: enchilada chicken with polenta and roasted broccoli
  • Wednesday: meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green beans
  • Thursday: fish tacos
  • Friday: out to eat
  • Saturday: something social

Fitness

  • Monday: 3 mile walk
  • Tuesday: pre-natal pilates
  • Wednesday: rest
  • Thursday: 750 m swim
  • Friday: 3 mile walk
  • Saturday: rest

Have a fantastic week!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Four Thoughts

Good morning! Any big plans this weekend? 

I am actually doing something kind of crazy and getting on a plane to Las Vegas this afternoon to help my aunt and uncle celebrate their milestone birthdays. Most of my family will be there, so I am looking forward to spending some time with them - but sadly, my two most favorite people are staying home.

I told Dan to have his iPhone at the ready for emergency FaceTime conversations. I will be back Sunday morning, so this is a super short trip, but I assumed that 36 hours was the perfect amount of time for a pregnant woman to spend in Vegas. Ha!

To start our weekend off right, here are five random thoughts:

1. It is funny how something can be called two different things. Like this paleo lemon bake I made yesterday to take to my dad’s house for dessert. Last night, I called it a cake, because I made it for dessert. However, this morning, I am calling it bread, because I am most definitely having it for breakfast (topped with berries and almond milk!). 

2. Just because a workout is called “pre-natal” does not make it easier. Or maybe my workout tolerance has decreased? Either way I am sore today from an arm workout I did yesterday. Yesh.

3. I have never gone to Vegas with a budget before. I booked the flight with points and I am staying in my cousins’ room, so the trip has been very inexpensive so far and I am trying to think of other ways to keep it that way. Is it pathetic that I don’t want to use $20 in blow money to park my car at the airport for the weekend? 

I am also trying to pack lots of snacks, because both of my flights are around meal times. Oh, how my life has changed (for the better, I think).

4. I don’t think I will ever get tired of hearing the birds chirp in the morning. I think I am going to record that sound and set it as my new alarm. But then I might hate it? 

Ina is awake - have a great weekend! 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Rant: Fundraisers

I want to make a sign for my front door that says, “I have a baby and a budget, so please don’t ring my doorbell and I don’t want to buy what you are selling.”

How long do you will think it will be until my house is TP’ed? 

Please don’t hate me, but this has been on my mind a lot lately, and when something is on my mind I “write” about it.

Let me paint the picture of what has been happening almost daily at my house for the last few weeks. It is 5 PM, I am done with work and Ina is taking a nap. I have 15 minutes to do whatever I want before I need to start making dinner and/or Ina wakes up. I could watch TV! I could paint my nails! I could sit in silence and stare at the ceiling! Just when I grab my nail polish bag and sit down, the door bell rings. Our beagle starts howling, and won’t stop for at least 2 minutes after the doorbell ringer exits the area. Ina wakes up and yells, “Who’s here?!? Come in!” from bed. I sigh, put down the nail polish with one fingernail painted, and walk towards the door.

I somehow get the door open without letting our dog outside to find a kid from the band/baseball team/Girl Scouts/basket weaving club asking, “Do you want to buy a tub of chocolate/coupon book/box of cookies//trash bag/candle/something else useless that I most definitely do not want to buy.

We have lived in our house, which is in suburbia central, for 3.5 years, and for most of that time, I have been generously supporting all of these clubs. However, since we have started sticking to a strict budget, these types of things simply aren’t allowed. At first I felt bad, especially because it is really hard for me to say no, in particular to cute little kids. 

So, either I find some way to tell them no that I think won’t hurt their feelings like, “Sorry, I can’t eat gluten, but what instrument do you play?” or I do what any respectable adult would do and hide in my kitchen until they leave. Yesterday a group of teenage boys parked their car in my driveway and I had to “hide” for at least 10 minutes. 

I was a Girl Scout for 13 years and loved every single second of it except cookie selling time. I loathed ringing a doorbell and asking someone to buy cookies, because, even at a young age I knew that what I was really asking for was a donation, because no box of cookies is worth $4.

The more I think about it, I feel less bad and more mad. Mad at the parents, mad at the schools, mad at our society for forcing children to do this, to go door to door and ask people for money. Is it really teaching them anything? Also, how much of the money actually goes to the organization? How much of the money is going to the company making the product?

This is an entirely different post, but we as adults aren't doing much better and companies are profiting on the fact that we constantly use our relationships to sell products so they don’t have to. My Facebook newsfeed / inbox is FULL of invites to buy essential oils, make-up, some type of pill, life insurance, etc.

I actually like a lot of these products, but since when is it OK to use our relationships to make money off each other? If I want to buy something, I want to seek it out, not the other way around.

But back to the kids. There has to be a better way for these groups to raise funds. I know that I only plan to let my children participate in activities that we can afford them to without fundraisers. But I also understand that if all families stuck by this rule their children wouldn’t be participating in anything, which I also don’t want.

How about a car wash? Or mowing lawns? Or anything else that doesn’t force kids to use their neighbors, friends, and family members to give money to these organizations, which only actually benefit from a portion of their “donation."

OK, rant over. I actually feel much better. That is until my door bell rings again.

Parents of kids who fund raise - how do you feel about it? Is there a justification I am missing here? 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Green Smoothie Over Green Clothes

Good morning!

I hope you had a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day! I remembered it was St. Patrick’s Day after I published yesterday’s post, and then made a mental note to eat a green breakfast, which I did.

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Smoothie made with 1 banana, 1/2 an avocado, 1.5 cups of spinach, and 1.5 cups of almond milk. (This was my first time adding avocado to a smoothie and I liked the extra creaminess and staying power it provided.)

However, as I was driving to work I realized I wasn’t wearing a stitch of green and green is my favorite color. You know you have reached a super cool point in your life when you plan the color of your meals, but not the color of your outfit. 

The rest of my St. Patrick’s Day celebration looked like this: smoked corned beef slathered with extra hot horseradish.

You will have to picture it mentally, because there was no time for pictures over here - I had to fight for my fair share. We had some friends smoke a brisket for us, and I picked it up on my way home from work yesterday. 

I usually have grand plans to make reubens out of it, or serve it with cabbage and potatoes, but we always end up standing over the plate, slicing piece by piece, and eating with with our hands. 

Classy, I know.

Have you tried smoked corned beef? If not, you need to.

Have a great day! 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Another Beautiful Day

Morning!

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We left all the windows open last night and the temperature dropped from 70* to 45*, so I am wrapped in a blanket and trying to drink my iced coffee while keeping my teeth from chattering.

However, instead of talking about how cold it is today, let’s talk about how beautiful it was yesterday.

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Ina and I are ready for spring!

I went on a 3 mile walk,

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and then came home to help Dan cook dinner and watch Ina play outside.

 

A video posted by Racheal (@runningwithrach) onMar 17, 2015 at 5:27am PDT

And by “help Dan cook” I mean I snapped the ends off the asparagus, threw some sweet potatoes in the oven, and then propped my feet up while Ina played and Dan grilled pork chops and the asparagus.

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Single ladies - make sure to add “grilling skills” to your pros checklist. Trust me.

Half-way through dinner I remembered that we were eating at our last Daniel Plan meeting, so I saved the rest for lunch today. Speaking of my last Daniel Plan meeting - I am sad our group is already over. 

I left feeling so energized and motivated that I could not sleep last night. Or maybe it was the pregnancy hormones? Regardless, I might need to find some toothpicks this afternoon. 

I hope you have a great day!

Monday, March 16, 2015

A Little Mascara Never Hurt Anyone

Good morning!

Within 24 hours, Ina mascaraed her face (this was 10 minutes before we needed to leave for church), picked up a razor in the shower and cut her thumb, and “sharpened” the tip of her finger in my eye liner pencil sharpener. 

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Let’s just say I am glad Dan is off work for the next few days. Maybe solo parenting isn’t the safest for Ina. 

I held Ina down and took some eye make-up remover to her face, but no matter how hard I tried, a little black remained around her eye. All day when I glanced at her I had visions of teenager-Ina or adult-Ina and I wanted to cry.

The rest of the day was a little more chill - 

- An almost 3 milk walk in the beautiful sunshine, listening to Ina sing me the songs she learned at church.

- Nap time during which I prepped some treats for my Daniel Plan group: this turkey burger recipe (made into meatballs) and these freezer chocolate cups.

- Small group! My mom (who usually watches the kids) was out of town, so we took advantage of the nice weather and our big back yard and discussed Revelations while the kids ran all of their energy out.

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With all the pregnant ladies in my group, the kids will soon out number the adults. 

Yikes.

I hope you have an amazing week! 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

My Food and Fitness Plan [3/15]

Hey hey!

How is the weekend going so far?

Ours has been pretty chill. We watched The Sandlot on Friday night and then yesterday worked, ran some, errands (had another horrible library experience), and napped before heading to our town’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. 

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My friend Liz invited us to ride on her family’s float.

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Ina didn’t really get the concept of throwing candy until the end, however, she really liked the idea of eating candy.

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I thought she would be up all night with a sugar high, but the poor girl crashed without reading any books within seconds of lying in bed. Apparently parades + sunshine can wear a girl out.

Here is my plan for the week:

Food

  • Sunday: small group - someone else is making dinner
  • Monday: Dan grill meat + asparagus; bake sweet potatoes [this is going to be my summer go-to meal]
  • Tuesday: smoked corned beef with cabbage and potatoes
  • Wednesday: slow cooker enchilada chicken with polenta and broccoli
  • Thursday: white chicken chili with kale added
  • Friday: out of town
  • Saturday: out of town

Fitness

  • Sunday: 3 mile walk
  • Monday: 2-3 mile walk
  • Tuesday: rest
  • Wednesday: pre-natal pilates
  • Thursday: pre-natal tabata + strength 
  • Friday: rest
  • Saturday: rest

What are you up to? Thanks to Mommy, Run Fast for hosting the link-up!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Perfecting + A Few Good Reads

Happy Friday morning to you!

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Ina is perfecting her outdoor yoga practice,

Dan is perfecting his buffalo chicken grilling skills,

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and I am perfecting the 3 mile walk.

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Things are good at our house!

We had our financial advisor over for dinner last night. Ina was more than happy to have a guest if it included free access to the hummus.

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I walked in from the living room and found her straddled over bowl going at it for all she was worth. I love that she loves veggies dipped in hummus. What I don’t love is that she also loves double, triple, and even quadruple dipping.

Ick.

Speaking of perfection, I loved this article - The Kind of Perfect Worth Pursuing

A few other good reads as of late:

The Art of Moderation - what I am striving to reach, which is surprisingly easier when pregnant.

You’ll Always be My First - major water works over here

A Millennial’s Guide to Life Insurance - super informative 

Public School is Not Ruining My Kid - an interesting thought - Dan and I haven’t made the private versus public school decision quite yet.

What are you perfecting lately? Read anything good worth sharing?

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Thankful Thursday

Good morning.

Sit back, because there are so many things to be thankful for today!

I am thankful for this absolutely beautiful weather. Seriously, why can’t it be like this every single day?

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I am thankful for some good news I received at work yesterday - news worth celebrating, and we did, with steak.

I am thankful for Dan’s mad grilling skills.

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I am thankful for grandparents. (Every week, right?)

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I am thankful to finally have a little garden weeder. 

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Yesterday I taught her what a weed was, and I think she is going to start earning her keep this summer, as long as she can differentiate between a weed and a tomato plant.

I am thankful that the garlic I planted in the fall is starting to come up! Yay! 

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This is the first time I have  planted something from “seed” and it was successful!

I am thankful for good friends and the work I see God doing in our lives together. 

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A Walk to the Park

Good morning!

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Ina did my hair. Do you like it?

I am not the biggest fan of DST in the morning, but when afternoon/evening comes, I like it more and more. Yesterday I walked to pick Ina up from Danielle’s, then we walked to the park where we met some friends for an hour of swinging and sliding.

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Then we walked home - all together for 2.8 miles.

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The sun was bright, so Ina needed her “sunglasses."

As soon as we stepped inside, Ina stood at the back door begging to go outside again. With the sun out and the temperature being 70*, how could I say no? So I quickly popped dinner in the oven and we sat on the back patio for another 30 minutes playing with chalk.

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I am hoping the rain doesn’t wash that one away anytime soon. <3

Dinner was spaghetti squash pizza pie with roasted green beans.

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Did you know that if you store spaghetti squash in a dark place at room temperature it can last for months? The squash we ate last night was from August of last year! Amazing.

I am out for today. I hope you have a fantastic middle of the week!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Optimism

Good morning! I overslept due to some middle of the night insomnia, but woke up to birds chirping and Ina singing Tomorrow in her sleep. Always the optimist, that one.

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Speaking of optimism, I need a heafty dose or two. Last night, as I was making this one pot tuna and noodles dish for dinner, I continued to think that it would be horrible. Then, when I took a bite, I didn’t think anyone would eat it.

Boy was I wrong. Ina asked for more noodles THREE times and when she asked for more broccoli I almost fell out of my chair. Then, when I got home from my Daniel Plan study Dan proclaimed that dinner “was AMAZING!"

Seriously? All I did was boil some brown rice noodles and add two cans of tuna and steam some broccoli on the side. Who cares if I didn’t like it - that meal is going on repeat until this baby turns 1.

Other things to be optimistic about:

- The beautiful weather

- Dan being off work tomorrow and me sitting on the back patio while he grills

- Coffee

- The CostCo container of strawberries in my fridge

- The baby kicking all night long - although I couldn’t sleep I have to remind myself that kicking is a very good thing

- My planned walk today

What are your optimistic about today?

Monday, March 9, 2015

How We SPRING Forward

Good morning and Happy Monday!

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Yesterday was an excellent day, so wonderful in fact that I almost didn’t miss that extra hour of sleep.

Almost.

Ina, on the other hand, missed it quite a bit and refused to wake up for church, which caused us to be 10 minutes late.

Church was wonderful. We missed last week due to the snow, so I left feeling refreshed and extra ready to tackle this week.

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After church we drove down to my grandparents’ farm for a little bon-fire. 

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Side note: when I was in 5th grade I sent out my own birthday invitations for a “bomb-fire.” I have never been a great speller.

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Hi piggie!

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We met our family and had a blast eating, talking, and crying. Poor Ina still hadn’t really adjusted to the lack of sleep and was in a mood off and on.

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After the food was gone and the bubbles were dumped, Ina and I drove our smoke and dirt covered bodies back home just in time to nap, shower, and welcome Dan’s dad, step-mom, sister, her boyfriend, and grandma over for dinner.

My phone was in picture fatigue by then, but we enjoyed the great food and company. Dan grilled buffalo chicken and once everyone got over the spicy factor the platter emptied quickly.

Ina made sure to entertain us all by jumping and launching her body in every direction. When they went to leave Ina kept on asking, “You are leaving? Why?"

Have an excellent week!

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