Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Run like the Wind

I am not a runner. I think I run like Phoebe from Friends so I'm pretty self-conscious, but I also just don't like it. However, I know it's good for me and I like the results.
Last May I started the Couch to 5K program and finished it in August, but pretty much quit right after that. Once school started, it was too hard to find the time to run. It was also discouraging because while I could run for 45 minutes, I wasn't getting very good distance. I was nowhere near running a 5K.
We bought a treadmill a couple of months ago and I decided to try again. So it's been three weeks and I'm doing fairly well, and although I haven't SEEN any results yet, I feel them. I started out running 10 minutes. That's all I could handle. Now I'm up to 20 and it feels easier. I know I won't win any speed or distance awards, but I'm proud of myself for doing something I truly dislike. And I prefer running outside, but with the average 100 degree weather and Shawn's crazy schedule, the treadmill is my best bet. I just keep hoping it'll grow on me and I'll stick with it and eventually get faster and farther.
Do you do anything you really hate because you know it's good for you?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Groove is in the Heart

When I was younger, I never understood why my dad only listened to oldies. I would pop in some New Kids, Lemonheads, Mxpx (whatever I was listening to that year) and urge him to branch out and enjoy some different types of music. But nope -- he wouldn't budge from his favorites.
Now I get it.
My theory is that we get stuck in the music that defined our formative years. That's why my dad only (still) listens to the Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, Motown, and anything else written between 1950 and 1969. That's why my preferred radio station is the 90's one on Music Choice. (The 80's channel is great too, but I can't sing along to every word quite as well.)That's why my CD collection is still filled with the Lemonheads, Mxpx, and yes, embarrassingly, the New Kids. The power of those songs to take me back to a specific moment in time is remarkable. And I like those memories. They remind me of when I was young(er) and I had a lot of really great experiences with a lot of really fun people.
And maybe part of it is that since my oldest was born, I haven't had time to keep up with the current music scene. I mean, I know who Lady Gaga is, but I have no idea what she sings. Katy Perry? Justin Bieber? I only know them from what they DO, not what they sing. We listen to K-LOVE or our heavy rotation of Stellar Kart/ Disciple/ Chris Tomlin in the car... and when I'm alone and have the choice? Well, it's Gin Blossoms/ Morrissey/ Poison all the way.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Snake in the Grass

I'm not afraid of snakes. Really. Except maybe an anaconda. And maybe a king cobra. And, okay, maybe a little black snake when it jumps out of my suitcase and on my arm. That really happened once.
We went on vacation to Orlando with some friends when Lucy was a baby, and when we got home to Valdosta I was unpacking and a snake jumped out of the bag. Like this.
Okay, not really, but isn't that what we all think is going to happen? Spiders too.
I screamed and flailed and grabbed the closest shoe to inflict some serious shoe-smashing damage on that poor thing. Shawn was at work and I was too afraid to touch a dead snake and move it, so I just left it on the carpet in our bedroom. Every half an hour or so I would go back and check on it, just to make sure it was still there. And it was... until it WASN'T. Where did it go? How could it have come back to life two hours after I smashed its skull in (do snakes have skulls?)? We had floor vents in that house, and I guess it slithered its little mostly-dead self into the crawl space below the house. I never smelled dead snake in the vent, so that's my best theory. But you can bet for the ENTIRE rest of the time we lived in that house, I checked the bed first under the covers before I could crawl in.
So today, my neighbor was over and showed me a cicada husk in the tree in our front yard. Then she pointed out a black snake on the next limb. I kinda freaked out and called Shawn over to chop it to pieces. He knocked it out of the tree and then smushed it with a piece of wood from the garage. I was safely about a block away so it wouldn't somehow jump on me. It was all wiggly after it was dead so I made him do an extra chop for good measure, then he threw it in the backyard in the brush.
Isn't that gross, how it's all mushed in the middle? I was a little fascinated, but I told Shawn it was grounds for the D-word if he threw it at me while I was taking the picture. Because I KNOW he was thinking it.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Book Review for Money Secrets of the Amish

Disclaimer: I am a book reviewer for I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review.

After reading countless articles on how to be thrifty, I wasn't expecting much out of this book. To be honest, I feel like most money-saving articles and books are written for those who have plenty of money to save. As a stay-at-home mom of three kids and my husband being a teacher, I think we already implement as much money-saving techniques as we can out of necessity. Most articles and books suggest "Make your lunch at home" and "Take coffee to work in a thermos instead of buying at a coffee shop", but what if you're already doing these things? I'm always looking for interesting ways to cut back in different ways.
Money Secrets of the Amish was refreshing in that it gave me a few ideas I can actually implement into our already frugal household. Lorilee Craker visited a few Amish households and came away with handy tips to cut any budget even further. I liked the section on Repurpose, Recycle, and Reuse. I also liked her practical section at the end of each chapter entitled, "My Amish Money Makeover." Craker concisely picks out the main points of the chapter and then gives you a short TO DO list that helps you convert those ideas into reality. I enjoyed her style of writing -- she is pretty witty and I liked the many anecdotes about her time with the Amish.
If I had a complaint, it would be that this book doesn't offer enough fresh ideas. We all know that shopping secondhand, getting out of debt and canning our own food would cut down on what we spend. Sometimes these solutions just aren't feasible or require more effort than the average person is willing to give. However, I do think there was enough advice in the book worth taking. At the very least, it's a good refresher for those of us who really want to cut back.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Life as We Know It

It's been a great weekend, and it's not even over yet! Yesterday Bear learned how to ride a bike sans training wheels -- she was hilarious! I guess like most kids, as long as she thought Shawn was holding on to her, she was fine. But the second she realized he let go, she would start wobbling the handlebars back and forth and cry, "Aah! Aah! Aah!" and then tip over.
Little Man turned a bike over and was trying to fix it
with Daddy's tools:
Then today we went blueberry picking! Know anybody else who waits until 2 pm and 95 degrees to go pick berries out in the hot sun? Me neither. But really it was a lot of fun... too bad I forgot my camera. They told us to eat liberally as we picked, and we looked like Violet Beauregarde when we were done. But we got a GALLON of berries for EIGHT dollars - SCORE!
We got home and I made a delicious blueberry cobbler and we ate it warm with ice cream after dinner (blueberry pancakes, of course).
And Shawn just handed me a blueberry milkshake - delicious!

Friday, June 10, 2011


Here's what I did today:
I think my toes look like little earthworms.
Have a happy weekend!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Etsy Love

I was indulging in one of my favorite activities today: browsing on etsy. there's such cute stuff on there and i'm constantly amazed at how talented people are. Here's a couple of things I found:

This is called Lab Coat Bling (it's a pin)
And I like this retro-y t-shirt for Father's Day (the date is customizable)
And these cupcake/ muffin papers are really pretty (and not even very expensive!)
And these crazy shoes look like something straight out of 1983... can you see them with a bubble dress with huge shoulder pads?
And this cute little number is a fun wonderland of felt!
What fun stuff have you found lately?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Feelin' Felty

So I was at Hobby Lobby this afternoon looking for a few things and last on my list was felt. My sister and I are doing a craft show in October and we have some good ideas from a book I got on Amazon. Anyways, last time I was there they only had a few basic colors and it was boring. TODAY, I STRUCK GOLD!!! They had the most amazing patterned and textured felt sheets... LOVE LOVE LOVE!
My head is full of ideas and I can't wait to get started! And I can't wait to share the finished pictures with you!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Friends Forever

One thing I loved best about Virginia Tech: no matter who you are or what your interests are, there's someone else like you. I was incredibly blessed to join a fantastic Bible Study my first week of college and we stayed together until we graduated. This past weekend I went up to Atlanta and visited two of my best friends, Karen and Kelli. Kelli lives in Virginia but comes down to visit Karen every summer. We've grown from 3 single college girls to include 3 incredible husbands, 2 sons, and 6 daughters between us. I love the memories we share and the memories we are still making. Kelli and I even have daughters that share the same birthday, born only hours apart.
Here's us in college ( I don't know why it's so rectangular):
Here's us about 2 years ago:
And here's us last weekend (we're at the pool... normally we're MUCH more glamorous):
We had a really good time and I always wish I could stay longer. Maybe one day when the kids are bigger, it can just be the three of us again.
P.S. If you're wondering, only the first picture shows Karen's true height. In the second and third picture, she's standing on a curb and a chair, respectively. Sorry, Karen.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Too many cooks spoil the chicken

Shawn and I are good cooks. He is a miracle worker when it comes to making things taste good by throwing random flavors together, and I'm not half bad at following a recipe. When we cook together, it's usually awesome.
Not last night.
I had some chicken thighs thawing on the counter that I meant to marinate, except I forgot. And we had jelly beans, freezer-burned corn, and ketchup nothing to make side dishes with. Then I had a flash of inspiration: one of my favorite flavor of wings at Buffalo Wild Wings is Parmesan Garlic, so why not season the thighs with that? I heated up some butter with garlic that Shawn brushed on the chicken before he put it on the grill, and I was going to sprinkle the parmesan when it was done.
One thing we didn't know: when it's 98 degrees in south Georgia, the grill apparently goes crazy. Shawn checked on the chicken roughly 3 minutes after putting in on the grill and reported that the flames that shot out practically singed his eyebrows off. The chicken was black and burned crispy on the outside and gushing blood slightly pink on the inside.
I had some green beans on the stove and tried to make garlic bread without using the oven (i.e, toast with some butter and sprinkled garlic on it) because it's so ridiculously hot. We put the food on the table, called the kids to dinner, and then just started crying with laughter because it looked. so. gross.
And it tasted gross too. Shawn had put the chicken in the microwave to finish cooking it, and it looked like wilted grossness it was a little overdone. We gave up after the first bite and told the kids it was a special treat: ice cream for dinner!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Happy Days

Yikes. So I've failed again... summertime blogging is HARD! I think I forgot how crazy-busy it can get around here with the kids home full-time.
[Also, my MIL lent me The Hunger Games and after reading that, I promptly had to go buy the next two books and ignored my kids (and this blog thing) for three days until I finished. Have you read them? What did you think?]
We had a fantastic time at the beach with my family - my kids adore their cousins and with 8 kids total, it was a pretty happening party at all times.
I did manage to score a couple of prints for the wall in our master bathroom. They had nasty silver and black frames but for $2.50 a pop, they were well worth a little spray paint as well!
We've lived in this house for five years and have taken the room-by-room approach to making it to our liking, but it sure is taking forever! The living room, dining room, kitchen, hall bath, and girls' room are done (at least the big stuff... the little stuff changes constantly). That leaves the master bedroom, bath, and baby's room. Okay, I know he's not a baby, but he's THE baby. Anyways, now that I have a couple of pictures on the wall in the master bath, I only lack curtains. That should be finished sometime this summer whenever I get a chance to go to Hobby Lobby and find the perfect material. Or I love here and here if I have a couple of hours to spare for browsing.
Where do you buy fabric? Our Hobby Lobby is the only place left in town. I wish we at least had a Jo-Ann or something.
Tomorrow is Library Day -- yay! This will be our first trip this summer and I'm looking forward to seeing all they have to offer through their summer program. Should be lots of fun!