Thursday, March 31, 2011

Personalized Blessings

Since Greg and I have started getting strict with working our way out of debt, we've started noticing how God has blessed us. These are what I like to call my "little happy" blessings. I see them as those little acts of encouragement God gives us to show us He knows we're trying. He's individualized these blessings to fit us, where others may not think twice about them. I want to list them not only to show you how grateful I am, but so you can recognize some of the blessings God's given you as well.

1- My Mom, my Aunt Lynn, and my cousin Ashley came in a couple of weekends ago to shop for Ashley's wedding. We had the best time with each other. Greg had to work all weekend, so Kirsten and I got to spend time with just the girls. Kirsten really enjoyed shopping and spending time with everyone. The fact that my family took the effort and time to take off of work and drive such a long way to come see us was blessing enough. They introduced and treated us to some new restaurants and wonderful meals. I never expected such generosity from all of them not only for me, but Kirsten and Greg as well. When I stopped for gas, my Mom payed for my gas, and my Aunt gave Kirsten a gift of adorable Croc shoes. So sweet, and so generous. Thanks again, you two for your kindness and generosity. I look forward to returning the blessing one day.

2- Kirsten and I were pretty sick last week. I took Kirsten to the doctor, which would normally cost $20. No big deal, I'd rather pay $20 now to get her well, than pay hundreds later for lung X-rays and lab tests. When it was time to check out and pay, the doctor's office told me I had a credit there, and I owed them nothing. $20 Blessing.

3- I left the doctor's office with a Rx for Kirsten's nebulizer medication. Every other time I've had to fill this Rx it's cost me $80 with my insurance. This time it was $15. So this sickness only cost me $15, and she'll be stocked up with breathing treatments for at least a year. $65 Blessing.

4- Kirsten needed new sandals and dress shoes. I budgeted this to be around $50. I found her the cutest pair of sandals at Gymboree from last season for $5. Then, I found an even cuter pair of dress shoes for $25. I figured I would pay that since I got the sandals so cheap, and it was still in the budget. I went to pay and the shoes rang up for $10. Not only were her shoes inexpensive, they are new and stylin'. $35 Blessing.

5- As you know, I am obsessed with Special K and Peter Pan PB. I was down to my last jar of Peter Pan, and about to stress. Really, I was. Publix happened to have it on sale BOGO free last week. I got 12 jars for $12. Kirsten told the lady at check out, "My mommy loves peanut butter, but only Peter Pan." Special K is on sale this week at Target for $2.50, and I have coupons. Special K has been on sale 3 times this year, and usually, it's only on sale in Jan. Extra Blessing.

6- Greg received a promotion a few weeks ago. He's only been at this job since August. He's the smartest, kindest, hardest working guy there is. Not to mention, he's got a great smile, he's funny, charming, and looks hot in his business casual, which I'm sure had a little to do with it :). God chose to bless him with this promotion right now, instead of his yearly review or possibly never. Leaving his previous job was a big decision, and not the easiest choice to make. We've had to make a lot of adjustments from this transition of jobs, but Greg's confident this is where he's supposed to be. This new employer has allowed Greg to go in to work later, so he's able to take Kirsten to school in the mornings. He's allowed to work from home if necessary, so when Mommy's sick, Mommy has some help now. They are also pretty "pro-family", so when Kirsten has parties or programs at school, her Daddy can be there. Blessing after Blessing.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It's Been A While

Wow...It's been a while since I've blogged. Contrary to what you may believe, I've been very busy. It's time to play catch up. Why do people say, "play catch up"? I don't play when I catch up, I get serious. So seriously, this is what's been going on and going through my mind the last month or so....

Kirsten and I took our first girls only road trip to MS during her Winter break. No boys allowed! J/K, Greg had to work. I would have loved for him to join us, but he felt like keeping his job was a little bit more important than making a 6 hr. drive, one way, to get a splenda chocolate peanut butter shake from Bops. However, he second guessed himself when I texted him pictures of Kirsten and me devouring our Bops. Kirsten and I spent time with my friend Allison for a couple of days, then we went to Benton and stayed with my parents for the rest of our trip. We spent some qt with my parents, siblings and nephews which was long overdue. We planned on staying longer but Kirsten got sick so we came back to GA.

I've been pretty religious about my workouts. I'm not necessarily losing a ton of weight or anything, but it's about the only thing I can really do for myself, and it's the only time I have to myself. I go to the gym almost everyday while Kirsten's in preschool. It feels good to have the people at the gym know me by name when I walk in, and give me pats on the back as I work out. When I leave they always say stuff like, "you are doing such a great job," and "I see you working hard in there"...makes me feel good. Every girl likes encouragement, especially if it involves exercise.

Greg and I have made a commitment to tackle our debt once and for all. We've had our "I've had enough moment." We realized how much we can do or accomplish if we get rid of our debt and use the money we use to pay off credit cards for other things. We want to be like "The Secret Millionaire", only we aren't millionaires. We started a plan through our church called, "I Was Broke, Now I'm Not." The guy that started this ministry, Joe Sangl, came to our church and packed the house when he spoke. He's awesome, his outlook is awesome and his plan is awesome. Everything is Scripture based and he, along with his story, is such a testimony. Greg and I are so fired up about this. Many haven't taken the news well that we are starting to focus our finances towards supporting our future and paying off our debts. I didn't realize how uncouth it was to not want to have debt anymore. Not only is it uncouth to work on getting out of debt, it's uncouth to live within your means. Seriously, we've gotten so many opinions on how wrong we are to say "no" to things we can't pay for with cash. I guess things are better when they really cost 2 or 3 times more with accrued interest. That's a lie I've bought into long enough. I know we'll face many trials with this process and season, and I know there's going to be some sacrifices. I just pray for mercy and protection as we take these steps towards obedience. We'll have keep our eyes focused on blessing others later.

Time for Opinionated Wednesday.....
1- "Why don't you just....?" - This will be the title of my first book. A pet peeve of mine is when you start to talk to someone, and no matter if you are stating something just to talk, or you dealt with an issue, the person will respond with..."Why don't you just....?" I would so much rather the person say, "Would you like my advice?" At least that way, I feel like I asked for it, or like I gave you permission to give me your opinion.

2- Right now on American Idol I like Lauren Alaina from GA, and Pia Toscano. I am so over that Scotty guy. He bears a strong resemblance to Howdy Doody and he was horrible with The River. It's time for him to go home.

3- I saw on the Today Show today that there's a condition called Shopping Bulimia. Really? This is a condition where someone repeatedly buys things and returns them just to do it. Ok...Today Show, this is far more devastating than the natural disaster in Japan. Come on, the things that get coverage these days.

Keep Japan and the Japanese, along with what's to come, in your prayers.