Saturday, February 26, 2011

Thinking About...

  • Paying Off Credit Card Debt - We are almost done with completely paying off all of our credit card debt.  We have been chunking away at it for the last year pretty significantly.  Last week, we used the majority of our tax return to pay it down to a very small last little chunk and will be completely done in two months.  It feels SO GOOD.  Next up, student loans.  Thank you, Dave Ramsey.  We love you after all.
  • The Way I Dress - I have a good bit of birthday money to spend and I've wanted to be really intentional to buy only things that I will love and wear for a long time.  I've been wearing a lot of dresses lately and have firmly decided that dresses are the way to go.  One piece to put on in the morning.  Throw on a cardigan or a jacket, a scarf, and cute shoes or boots and out the door.  No thinking.  I love it.  And you are instantly looking put together but are surprisingly comfortable.  I have been wearing black leggings or tights, but want to play around with dresses over skinny jeans.  I love the way Lisa dresses.  I want all of her clothes.  She also makes fantastic jewelry, which is how I started reading her blog.
  • Doing Without Cable - In the same vein of paying off our debt, we have been thinking about other ways to save around here.  We are considering not renewing our Direct TV contract this summer and just streaming what we want to watch using Hulu and maybe picking up a NetFlix subscription.  Anyone out there doing this?  Is it working for you?  SimpleMom had a good post on this a few weeks ago.  We have found ourselves lately only watching seasons of MadMen and various other shows on DVD format and watching only the few shows we keep up with regularly like Modern Family, Parks and Rec, and 30 Rock.  I think we could do this from Hulu.  Thoughts?
  • The Way We Shop - I have told you about the joys of Homestead Creamery and how it's like Christmas every Thursday morning around here when we get fresh, local milk and eggs on our doorstep.  Well, they are partnering with a CSA called Good People Good Food to offer shares of vegetables and fruits for the summer starting in May and going through November.  We signed up for a share of each.  We can also purchase local beef and pork through Homestead Creamery if we wished along with other dairy products like cheese and butter.  I am making it my goal this spring and summer to plan our meals around what we can get through them and try to buy only a few little things that we need at the grocery store.  Instead of the opposite way I'm doing it now.  I'm excited to see how this will work out and what kinds of veggies and fruit we will get through the CSA.
What are you thinking about this weekend?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Movin' and Shakin'

Ohhh February has been so good to us.

No sickness.

Great weather.

And a little dose of motivation.

Are you ready for this?  We have BOTH been working out.

I am back at running.  Patrick is doing elliptical workouts 3-4 times a week.  It feels so good to be on the same page.

We are eating better.  I'm doing South Beach Diet.  I know, another diet.  The doctor actually put me on this, I am sad and a little embarrassed to admit.  But it feels good and I'm sticking to it.  Cutting out the excess sugar.

This week, I'm doing my daily cleaning schedule, which means the house will be lovely by Friday.

We made plans to trim the big tree in the backyard.  Which is, gulp, very expensive.

We FINALLY got the leaves up from fall, thanks to a very willing 9th grader who wanted to earn some moo-lah.

I have four cousins getting married this summer.  Four.  One is a 1920s theme.  One is a Hokies theme.  The others do not have a theme so far as I can tell but all are going to be beautiful and tons of fun.

All of that is to say that I have been looking for new dresses to buy.

And praying that South Beach works.

Cheerleading is winding down so I'm getting my afternoons back.


Schoolwork is coming along, as usual.

Patrick is working a lot and has taken on a new position at work.  He is very enthusiastic about it, which is great to see.

Life is good!

Keep it comin'.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Plotting and Planning

I started teaching To Kill a Mockingbird this week, which means Spring is right around the corner!  I always feel like I can breathe a sigh of relief when I come to this unit.  I'm comfortable with it, so the planning is a breeze, and I <3 THIS BOOK.  If you count the fact that I read aloud a good portion of it to my students, on repeat 5 times a day, I've read this book at least 20 times, and it never gets old.  I love that we live in Maycomb County for five weeks, in the childhood world of Scout Finch.  Love. Love. Love.

So, since Spring is coming and since it's been in the upper 50s to upper 60s most of this week and the trend looks to continue, and since we had The Year of No Summer last year (in going to Australia and it being wintertime there) I am seriously craving some warm weather and looking forward to Spring!  The long march to Spring Break has begun; it's so late this year!  But that hasn't stopped me from plotting and planning some projects for that upcoming week.

Here are some goals I've made for Spring Break, which is still so far away...
1. Sleep in! Obviously.
2. Read an entire book.
3. Make drop-cloth curtains for our living room and dining room area.
4. Start some vegetables in containers.
5. Freshen up the backyard.

I'm trying to keep the projects small and doable in a day or so; I only have one week and I want to relax as well!  I'm pushing the other projects formulating in my brain to summer vacation.

We talked to the Australians last night (my sister-law and her family) and they are coming for the first half of the summer!  I have been promised some help with the container gardens.  They are so good at growing things at their house on Kangaroo Island that I am jealous.  I checked out some books from the library to enlist some advice.  I'll let you know how it goes!

For now, we have a busy weekend planned: Grading papers this afternoon - I think I will head to the coffee shop so it feels less like work, Valentine's banquet at church tonight, and a bridal shower for my sweet cousin tomorrow afternoon!  I <3 the weekends but they always go so quickly...

Here's looking forward to Spring!

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Oh, hello.  Sorry that I have been silent for the month of Feburary so far; it's just that, well, I have been busy living February!  I have never been more excited to see January go and usher in a new month...I feel like our New Year started February 1.  January was so full of sickness, no motivation, and more or less seemed like a ginormous holiday hangover this year.  Yes, there were Happy Things, but it was not our best month despite my despereate attempts to try to make it happy and to find the joy.

I used to hate Febrary.  I had this little calendar when I was really young and each month was in a different color; I still associate the months by those colors.  February was a blue-grey.  And that summed it up for me.  Dreary, cold, and blue-grey.  But this year, I am anticipating Spring with the I-Can't-Wait-Until-Christmas type feelings.  And February just makes it feel that much closer.

So Happy New Year!  Can we get started on life again now?  Please and Thank You.