Some Things I’ve Been Thinking About

Hey y’all! Craig and I have been busy baby makin’ and I just passed my big audit for work (another excellent progress report!) so needless to say I’ve been a bit preoccupied. In other news we got a new car… YAY! Here’s a pic of my beautiful new baby. We really enjoy her and have named her Bindi (yes, that’s Steve Irwin’s daughter’s name). Since she’s an Outback we figured we needed something Australian and Bindi is Aborigine for little girl. Cute.

Also, our first baby, Jethro, has commandeered the guest room bed. He loves to sleep with his head on a pillow (or arm rest, etc.) and evidently the couch is too far away from us at night. This is a new thing he’s doing but he’s simply precious. We love that little dude and can’t imagine our lives without him. I mean, look how precious he is! I can’t get mad at that fluffy guy for wanting a little comfort.

Next up, we bought a new vacuum. My other vacuum finally bit the dust and after quite a lot of research and not wanting to spend a fortune we settled on the Shark Navigator. So far, so good. It really performs well. Jethro likes it (as referenced by the picture below). I mean, just look at that happy face!
In other news, I’ve really been struggling with not commenting on or posting about every little political and/or cultural war happening right now. I’ve definitely posted on facebook a few times too many for some of my friends but it’s hard to keep my mouth shut when I feel so passionate. There are two sides to every story and I feel like some of my “friends” keep speaking from their limited point of view where they cannot possibly understand the whole picture.

Besides that, most of these “friends” call themselves “Christian” and as a Christian I find it hard to stomach their intolerance. From what I have read of the Jesus I follow, He would have been the first to sit down with the “sinner” over dinner and really get to know them and pour LOVE into them. Yet, these very people who claim to be His disciples are those who are the loudest in judgment and hate. It breaks my heart.

So, I will continue to post things I think help open up the debate and help to cross barriers and I will continue to do my best to LOVE my neighbor (John 13:35). That’s all I can really do, eh?

Also, I’ve been thinking a lot about going back to work once this future baby is born. I know that children of working mothers are more successful and I know that as a working mother I will be a better role model for success outside the home, yada yada, but I can’t help but fear the coming day when I drop my child off at day-care and head off to work. My friend, Emily, recently had this discussion with me. She always thought that she’d have no problem going back to work but now that her baby is here in her arms she’s finding it incredibly difficult.

I guess I’ll have to cross that bridge when I get to it. I know that financially we just really cannot afford to have me stay at home. I also know that the benefits I receive through my state employee position are unlike anything I could acquire on my own. I’m praying that something flexible will arise when the time comes and I will feel greater strength in leaving my child with others. Too soon to tell but I will continue to pray about it anyway.

So, to end this random smattering of thoughts on this hump day I leave you with another picture of my boy Jethro when he was outside playing in his pool. I mean, what parent doesn’t shove pictures of their baby in your face every other second? Just wait until we have a human baby… HA! It’s almost the weekend y’all! Chin up!

  

  

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Hey hey

How’s it going!?! Yeah, so, I kinda fell off the face of the earth there for a moment, eh? My sinuses are killing me. This has been one of the worst allergy seasons… and it doesn’t help that I’m “allergic to life” (as my husband likes to say). The post-nasal drip has been giving me a sour stomach and that just really takes the cake. Or makes me not want the cake rather. Or any food except I really want all the food so yeah, there’s that.

Okay, where was I? Right, so Tuesday is the big day. Getting the IUD removed and opening myself up to the possibility of pregnancy (and periods). Ugh. It’s super exciting but then not exciting at all. If that makes any sense. I’ve lived pretty much period-free for quite some time now and I must say it’s one of my favorite things about having an IUD. Seriously. Best. Ever. So, I’m not excited about the monthly curse arriving once again and ruining 1/4 of my month. Another thing that comes with Aunt Flo’s arrival is the reminder that I’m not pregnant. Yeah, I haven’t even had my IUD removed and I’m already worrying about not being able to get pregnant. Crazy.

I’m insane. I should be more excited but really I’m just more nerve-wracked than anything. Which is typical actually. I’m what’s scientifically known as a worrywart yes, it’s a technical term (just kidding). If I didn’t worry about everything my friends would worry about me. I don’t know why I always worst-case-scenario everything. Well, yes I do actually, I have clinical anxiety. Right. That thing I think I’m dealing with so well but that creeps up on me and hangs out when I’d least like it to. So, there’s that. But also, there’s happy times. Life isn’t all doom and gloom. Unless you count the fact that Jethro chewed a hole in our rug the other night. Yeah. But really though, I’m doing well. I love my husband and my sweet puppy (even though he is in trouble right now) and I’m excited for the future. I’m trying to figure out the future baby’s room layout and what furniture we’ll need. Stuff is expensive though. Good gracious. I have champagne taste on a beer budget.

Also, some things I just feel like I have to buy new. Like the rocker/glider. It kinda weirds me out to be sitting in someone else’s sweat. I mean you can’t really wash furniture. You never know what weird smells it could have that creep up on you over time. No thanks. But there are too many choices. I have such a hard time making choices. Craig gives me such a hard time about this. I’ve mentioned before that I suffer from paralysis by analysis. There’s so much pressure to pick the right thing. My problem is that I don’t know if it’s right or wrong until I’ve lived with it a while… then it’s definitely wrong and I want something else. Which is expensive. So, I just need to live with it. But I hate living with it… so we get something different and then sometimes it’s perfect and sometimes it’s not.

So, because I know that these are big decisions and I’ll have to live with them for a while I really have been way over-thinking them. I mean, it would suck to buy a rocker/glider and then after a few months realize it’s the most uncomfortable thing in the world and it’s too late and I just have to live with it. Do other people have this problem? Am I just ridiculous!?! Wait, don’t answer that. I’m totally ridiculous. Admission is the first step, right? So, now what? I need to relax. The perfect dresser isn’t going to be out there and in my price range and that’s okay. It’s just a dresser. Maybe I should just quit looking on Craigslist and shop at Ikea. Reasonable prices in case I end up hating it. Plus, some of their stuff is made out of solid wood.

In other news I have not been exercising as much as I told myself I would this year. Which sucks. It’s so easy to fall out of the habit. I cannot afford the $150 a month barre membership and I’m not a gym-type person so I’ve resorted back to home workouts and because I don’t have somewhere to be with some cost attached it’s much to easy to hit the snooze. Monday morning starts a new chapter and I’m forcing myself up to do the scientific 7-minute workout written up by the NY Times. Gotta get back in the game!

This is where I leave you. A rambling post on a Friday afternoon. Thanks for being my sounding-board. I’ll leave you with some inspiration pieces for the future nursery. Let me know your thoughts!

I like these colors:

I like this photo collage and dresser:

 

And I like this sweet room:

But I also really like these colors:

And I definitely want a white crib:

But maybe I want a two-toned crib:

Or maybe I want a more traditional crib:

Oh, but I really like this two-toned one:

Oh my gosh… do you see what happens!?! Okay, I’ve gotta stop… too many choices. I’m going down the rabbit hole. Please, I need your help. Tell me your favorites and share with me what you used (if that’s the case). Someone has got to narrow this all down for me. 🙂

Have a great weekend!

 

RAPA scrapple

Welcome to another episode of “Things I Like.”

I know, I know, it’s been forever since I’ve done one. This time I’m featuring scrapple. More specifically I’m featuring RAPA brand scrapple.

I know this sounds crazy but I literally crave the stuff. I know not many of y’all have heard of scrapple and there are probably not many of y’all that even really like sausage but this stuff is seriously delicious.

My mother’s family is from the Philadelphia area, Ambler specifically, so scrapple is a part of our tradition. Scrapple is pretty much like any other breakfast sausage in that it’s made from the left-overs. Sliced and fried so it’s crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, scrapple brings back such wonderful childhood memories. The pork gives it a unique flavor profile and not everyone is a fan but if you try it I do not think you’ll be disappointed.

Here’s my little disclaimer… I can only recommend RAPA brand scrapple. Habbersett and others are just not the same. Call me a purist but I want the good stuff. Every once in a blue moon you can find scrapple down here (usually in Publix) but it’s never RAPA brand. Therefore, it’s a treat we request from our family to bring when they’re headed south. Either that, or you must place your order online.

So, have you ever tried scrapple? What are your thoughts on breakfast sausage, in general? Next time you’re in the mid-Atlantic region and a restaurant has it on their menu I would encourage you to try some scrapple… and if you feel so inclined… send me some!

No Soda No More

SAD FACE!

2015 is the year of no soda for me. Even if I only ever had one soda a week when out at a restaurant it still will save me around $100 this year. Which I will promptly spend on a relaxing (and much needed) massage. I’m not even doing this for the financial aspect, although I know that’s a powerful motivator. I have read that sodas aren’t good when pregnant and since I’m already just an occasional drinker I figured I’d just go ahead and give them up entirely.

We already don’t keep sodas in the house so I rarely have them to begin with, however, every once in a while I like to have an ice cold Coca Cola Classic fountain drink when I’m out at a restaurant. There’s nothing better than an ice cold Coke. So, needless to say, I’m missing it.

One of the main reasons they say to avoid soda (especially diet soda) is that people who drink them don’t drink enough water. Soft drinks tend to take the place of water in the average person’s diet. “”Individuals who drink a lot of soft drinks aren’t going to drink as much nutritious liquid as others,” says Bess Dawson-Hughes, M.D.

With all that said, I’m still drinking coffee every morning and there’s the caffeine that I need to be weary of so I’m not completely out of the woods. I have been soda-free since the first of January and it’s May now so I’d say I’m doing pretty well. It’s not easy but it’s good to know that I’m setting myself up for the best possible success when we start trying to get pregnant.

I can’t stand the taste of artificial sweeteners so I’ve always been a full test Coca Cola Classic kinda girl. Every once in a while I’d partake in a Dr Pepper or Root Beer but we never really had sodas growing up so I’m thankful it wasn’t a terrible habit to break. So, what about you? Are you a soda drinker? Full test or unleaded?

New Year – New Goals

Hello everyone and I hope that you’ve had a wonderful extended holiday. Craig and I were able to spend some time with our family and were able to start on yet another construction project so I’d say it was a pretty good holiday in my book. I’m back today with a post on, what else, new year goal setting.

January is typically a time of year in which we take a moment to reflect on the past year, the good and the bad, and make new goals for the coming year. I’ve decided to set 5 goals for the year 2015. I feel that by keeping these goals broad I’m better able to make them a reality. I know myself and I know that I routinely fail. Instead of focusing on the challenges negatively I’m going to use them to my advantage. So, here goes:

  1. Focus on Christ – First, and foremost, I plan on really renewing my relationship with Christ. Through daily reading, my small group, and church attendance I hope to make some new habits that have a life long effect. Starting this month I have been daily reading in an app called She Reads Truth. This app makes it super easy to stay in the word on a daily basis and it has a wonderful graphic at the end of each reading to share through social media as a way to hold yourself better accountable and to share God’s goodness and grace. I really enjoy the format and I pray to make this become habit. In addition to She Reads Truth, I’m leading my small group (aka Life Group) in the Beth Moore study of Esther. This is a study I have done before years ago and I’m looking forward to doing again with my group. I pray that God uses me for these women and their hope in Him. Also, I’m still involved in the Disciple study that goes through May this year so I’ve got a lot of ways to really make my relationship with Christ more intentional.
  2. Nurture Relationships – I feel like this goal really goes along well with my number one goal this year. In 2015 I really want to work more on strengthening my relationships with my husband, my family, and even more so, my friends. It is so easy to get caught up in daily life that I let my relationships fall by the wayside. Like I mentioned with my first goal, being more intentional means that I’m really making time for what is important. Last year, the deaths of both of my fathers really brought home the importance of relationships. I’m going to work harder on strengthening my relationship with my husband by daily making time for his needs. Whether it is as simple as being more diligent with my cleaning or making more time for physical affection, I plan on making him a priority. I want to be sure that we are setting ourselves up for success with a long and healthy marriage. In addition, Craig and I have talked at length about focusing on our friendships this year and making time to clear our schedule for our friends. We can get so busy at times that we’ve gone a whole month and haven’t spent time with anyone but ourselves. Well, this year we want to change. I want to make sure to take more time for my mom this year and I want to visit my grandparents more. Hopefully this goal will make a lasting change in our lives.
  3. Healthy Living – This past December I started taking classes at my local Pure Barre and I’ve really enjoyed the workout it gives me. I’m enjoying the classes and their varied but yet consistent nature. In addition to remaining in a workout routine for 2015 I am going to continue my healthy living by really working on my diet. I’ve decided this year that I will no longer be drinking soda (specifically dark soda). I know that if I eliminate Coca Cola Classic completely from my diet I will need something to wean me off it’s deliciousness so if I find myself somewhere (like a drive through) where I feel the need to order a soda I will order a Sprite. If y’all know me it’s how much I love a good Coke. The real thing … no diet! I drink them rarely because we don’t keep soda in the house. We know how bad sodas are for you so we treat them as special occasion drinks. With that being said, this year I plan on eliminating them entirely. Craig and I are going to try and get pregnant this year so my health is even more important now. We already do a pretty good job with our health but I plan on stepping it up with diet and exercise and regularly taking my prenatal vitamins.
  4. Better my Budget – Okay, so this is a tough one. This year I’m really going to work on my saving and spending habits. I like to think that Craig and I are pretty good at this already (at least he is) but I know that with a baby coming we really need to step up our game. I’m one of those people who really HATE to budget. Not that I can’t live with a budget, just that I hate tracking and dealing with all the math! It’s easy for me because Craig and I took a look at expenses and we have put me on a cash diet to keep my spending in check but I still find times that I’m swiping my Amex or not really knowing what I’ve spent my money on that past month. This year I want to be more conscious of the whole process and to be more active in pursuing better spending habits. We want to make sure we’re setting ourselves up financially in the best possible way, especially with a future child in the picture. Seeing as my husband is an accountant this goal is a very real one for us.
  5. Personal Development – Finally, I really want to work on myself both professionally and personally. I don’t have time to re-enroll in graduate school this year but that doesn’t mean I can’t make time to pick up Fluenz again. I want to keep my brain sharp and focus on that passion I have for life-long learning. I hope to make more time this year to really keep my mind active and engaged and less focused on trivial pursuits. I find myself spending an inordinate amount of time on Facebook that could be better used by completing a Spanish lesson or even just reading a good book! Also, I want to make more time for this blog. I find that writing is a good outlet for me and I like to share my life with y’all. It’s not a matter of finding time but of making time. This year I want to really make more time for the things that make me a better person and this is a good place to start.

So, what about y’all. What are your goals for this year? Do you have any do-overs from last year that you’d like another shot at? Are you setting just one big goal or many small goals? I’d love to know what’s in store for you for 2015!

MissCaron