Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Driving Fail

Let me preface this confession with the knowledge that I'm generally a very careful person.  I check and double check almost everything I do.  I blame this morning's mishap on the fact that for the last five months I have gotten no more than four hours of sleep per 24 hours, and my Mr. Right is currently in Haiti.

Let me set the scene.  It is morning drop-off at my son's school.  Sweetpea and Babycakes are strapped safely in their car seats.  I am just about to back out to head home, when I spot a mom that I wanted to chat with about an upcoming birthday party.  I tell Sweetpea I'm just going to be a quick minute and I'll be right back.  I then proceed to hop out of the car to jog over to the other mom.  Did I mention I left the car in reverse?  Immediately the car begins to drive away with my babies in it.  I am now sprinting to jump into the open door.  It is now gaining speed.  With a Bo Duke maneuver, I jump back into the car and slam on the brake.

Say whaaa????  No one was injured, and I didn't even hit anything even though the car traveled a good fifteen feet at least.  I was pretty mortified though, and amped up on adrenaline thinking of the possibilities of what could have happened.  So, I did not stick around to see if there were any witnesses (which quite frankly, how could there NOT have been witnesses??  It was a zoo).  I got the heck out of there as fast as I could, while driving super carefully as to not completely freak people out and solidify any future banning on chaperoning field trips.

Oh, and did I mention I was kind of still in my pajamas?
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Monday, March 28, 2011

She's Listening

We were driving through our neighborhood today when Buddy Boy asked what the blue signs in front of some of the houses were.  I told him they were ADT signs that meant that the house had an alarm system, so maybe burglars would see the sign and not break in because that house had an alarm system.  He then asked if we had an alarm on our house.  I told him no (insert warning to would-be thieves or ne'er do wells... my husband's pretty fierce and strong, and I can pack a good wallop if protecting my young ones... so be warned).  Slightly concerned he asked, "Why don't burglars break into our house?"  Sweetpea promptly replies, "It's because of our guardian angels protecting us."

Oh good... I guess when it matters she does listen.  She sure can fool me into thinking she doesn't hear a word I say ;)
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Today I wore dangle-y earrings, which is pretty rare for me... I heard the jingly noise they were making and I thought a dog was chasing me.  I almost started running.

Items that seem like they inherently need to be refrigerated, but aren't, such as cheese, gross me out to the max.  i.e.  Velveeta.

I just don't get it... is it pronounced "real-tor" or "real-a-ter"

My son is picking up on my love of words.  I so enjoy the random times he hears a word, repeats it, and tells me he loves the sound of that word.  His recent favorites:  tiramisu, Gonzaga, and inspire.

I don't like Skype.  I find it awkward and lose all focus on the conversation.
That is all.
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Monday, March 21, 2011

Wait! I'm Not Ready!

I guess this could apply to anyone, but lately as a parent, I'm feeling like life is in fast forward.  The small things and milestones that I was so excited for my children to reach, seem to get here and I think to myself, "wait a second, I'm not ready yet!"  Even small things are really making my heart ache lately.  For instance, Babycakes rolling over.  It is precious, and even the Crazies love to cheer her on, which only makes her want to do it over and over again.  Sweetpea no longer falls out of the bed, nor does she need the bed rail to keep her in the bed.  She just sleeps like a regular old kid.  And although I'm thrilled that she no longer takes sleepy headers into the ground, it means she is getting older.  Ouch.  Buddy Boy used to be thrilled to jump as high as he could to touch the garage door opener, and was so proud on days he could actually do it himself, and then today without any fanfare, and without me even noticing right away, he just tapped the button like it wasn't a big deal.  When did this happen?
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Sunday, March 20, 2011


Cuba Gallery: Summer / white flowers / blue background / nature / color / macro / butterfly

Happy first day of Spring!
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Friday, March 18, 2011

Not Keeping Up With the Joneses

Okay, so let's get real.  I was horrible with money, like really really loose.  In college, I fell into the credit card debt trap.  I'd like to blame the university for letting those credit card reps offer freebies (Pez dispensers!!!  seriously.)  to con poor college students into signing up, but I can't.  It was my choice.

I was determined not to carry this debt into marriage, and worked hard to pay it off just days before my wedding.  Being credit card debt free felt really good.  Life happened, and emergencies like flat tires and air conditioners breaking came up.  We were newlyweds who liked to go out to dinner and movies and shopping,  and our debt slowly creeped up again.

Feeling convicted, that we really did not want to live in debt, and also through some truthful words from friends, we committed to getting out of debt for good... the ultimate goal is to pay cash for everything and be 100% debt free (no house payment, no car payment, nada.)

That was three and half years ago, and we are now left with only our mortgage and car payment.  It feels good, but we're not done.
Piggy Bank 1 - S5isPiggyBank_1

Do you know the secret?  It goes against everything our society emphasizes and deems valuable.  Here are the simple truths:  live below your means, delay gratification, prioritize.

*  Live below your means:  If you spend every penny, or worse, rack up debt to pay for things, you are spending too much.  Some of your money should be going to savings every month.  Everyone has unexpected expenses that could throw you deeper into debt if you don't save for the inevitable.

*  Delay Gratification:  Oh look, that fancy phrase from Psychology 101 just came in handy.  Our society thrives on the concept of not having to wait.  But guess what, waiting is good, patience is good.  Sometimes it stinks that I can't have the perfectly decorated or landscaped house... but we don't have the money for it right now.  So we save, and spend our money elsewhere that takes priority.

*  Prioritize:  I must feed my family, I want a new camera.  Well, my kids surely appreciate that I put them first in this area, so save I must, and take care of what is a must first.  If and when there is money left over, I can use it in other areas.

How do we do it?  We budget.  If you're like me you're screaming NOOOOOO!!!  Not budget!!!  I feel you... I felt like the fun and spontaneity of life was over.  I actually felt a little sick about it before we started, but I thought to be fair I had to at least give it a try.  We watched the Dave Ramsey DVDs and got to work mapping out a budget.  Friends of ours made excel spreadsheets and shared them with us to use as a template each month.  In the first year we paid off a car, two student loans, the rest of the credit card debt, and started an emergency savings account.  Not too shabby!  We cut eating out, except for once a week, and committed to tithing regularly (I know this can be a touchy subject, and really would require a whole post of its own, so I'm not even going to open that can of worms here :)

Three and half years later, God truly did answer our prayers.  Just as we were more wisely using the time, talents, and treasures God blessed us with... I got to leave working outside the home and be the homemaker I always wanted to be.  Six years ago, when our son was born, this seemed absolutely an impossible dream.  We were both working full time, and we were barely making it.  We are living on less money now, and things are tight, but I get to raise my own children, and create the kind of home that we desire.

We have a lot of room for improvement, and we are not totally debt free yet, but we have a goal in mind and steps to get us there.  How awesome would it be to pay off our mortgage long before we retire?!  There is so much more freedom without debt, but our country is constantly pressuring us to consume, buy, upgrade, collect.  It is sickening.

I long for simplicity.  Where God and relationships and loving others is what I am consumed with.  I don't want to want stuff.
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Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Toes in the mouth... delicious
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Monday, March 14, 2011

Top 10

Top Ten Favorites of my weekend...

10. {Cute Kid Phrases}
Sweetpea calling the Merry-go-Round the "American Round"

9. {Swagbucks}
I just scored yet another free Starbucks card. If you aren't signed up yet, you must. It's just like Google, but you get free stuff
Search & Win

8. {Our Bible study with friends}
 We're studying Hebrews with a fab bunch of friends, who became friends over six years ago in a "Young Marrieds, NO kids" Bible study, and we've reunited for another couples study.

7. {75 degrees and sunny}
... and being outside for hours

6. {This Gal's gigant-o smile}

5. {Angry Birds}
 Google Swagbucks it if you have no idea what I'm talking about.  I love it.

4.  {Sleep}
Mr. Right letting me sleep in on Saturday AND getting up with Babycakes at night

3.  {Spontaneous Kiddie Dance Parties}

2.  {Spend, Save, Tithe}
Teaching my kids how to budget money, BEFORE they leave the nest

1.  {Time}
Quality time with friends and family was the best thing about this weekend, hands down.

I hope your weekend was beautiful too, wherever and however you spent it!
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Thursday, March 10, 2011

See You There?

I'm going to Creative Estates!  Are you?  I would so love to meet you!
Want to go?  Head over to Groopdealz today and save 30% off your ticket :) 
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Monday, March 7, 2011

L'alfabeto Giveaway!

Happy Monday friends!  Little Gal and I just got home from a long weekend visiting my brother and future sister-in-law in Detroit, and boy oh boy, I am so happy to be home!  It snowed.  I mean snow snowed.  And I drove in it and almost had a heart attack.  I don't know how you all do it, but this Arizona gal was freezing!!!  The 78 degrees and sun welcomed me back nicely (as well as two sick Crazies... poor things).

In other news... head over to Angel Face Designs' blog for a $20 shop credit from my little shop.  Good luck!
p.s.  This little travel buddy is one dreamy baby... I think she cried once, otherwise it was all smiles.  Love this crazy lady.
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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Why I'm Smiling

I love mail.  Like love love love it.  The good kind that is (... that IRS notice saying that we owe'd $1500 from last year...hated that).

Natalie, from over at Natalie's Sentiments, and I had a crafty swap.  The only rules were to send 2-3 handmade goodies, so neither of us had any idea what we would receive.  Well, she must really be an over-achiever because I received a whole mess of wonderful goodies, including a few for Sweetpea too. 

This was so fun!  SOOOO fun, in fact that I would love to do it again!  If you are interested, please email me at lalfabeto@gmail.com (I'll take the first one or two to respond, so don't wait!) 

Secondly, my college friend Erin sent me a card out of the blue.  She and I are both lovers of real mail.  I covet this awesome stamp of hers.  Thanks Erin!  You made my day!

And lastly, because my husband is awesome and humors my oddities, and despite his better judgment... he brought home this little beauty.  I'm a sucker for the infomercial.  I have been talking about this gal for weeks ("It's like a carwash for your feet!"...  "A pedicure everyday!"), and my man brought her home just for me.  Even though he thinks it is ridiculous.

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