The Never-ending Journey of Budgeting

With the new year comes many resolutions that cover a variety of topics. From weight loss to organization…to eating better or quitting bad habits; every where you look there are people who are determined to make their life better once and for all! My husband and I did not make resolutions this year, rather we shared what we would like to see happen in 2015. Our discussion included finding more time to truly relax, making an effort to be healthier (eating better and exercising more), trying to be present in our interactions with others (aka put down the electronics), and a lot about money.

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Budgeting seems to be a never-ending mountain that we are climbing; there are some months where we do great and others where we completely botch our plan and then continue to botch it for a few months before we wake up and realize we are totally off course. It’s awful, and it seems to keep happening. With a new baby coming this year, Continue reading “The Never-ending Journey of Budgeting”

Girl’s Day: A bonding experience

This weekend I was asked to babysit my adorable niece Carolyn (we call her Caribou). She is going to be one in a few weeks. Since she was very small, her and I have always bonded. She is my little buddy. I always try to make the time we spend together special and unique. This past Saturday was no exception.

My sweet niece Caribou
My sweet niece Caribou

Caribou is a timid mover, but man can that little girl bounce and dance! I brought my mini speaker out into the kitchen and we turned on our favorite station thanks to Spotify: Meghan Trainor.   Dancing is always a necessity of a successful girl’s day. Bouncing, giggling, and baby gab…it was everything a dance party should be! If anyone could have been a fly on our wall, I am sure they would have deemed us crazy.

“Dancing is always a necessity of a successful girl’s day!”

Next, we decided we needed manicures. Correction, I suppose it was Aunt Catie that decided on manicures seeing as Caribou can’t talk yet…anyways! Continue reading “Girl’s Day: A bonding experience”

How I will Chase 2015

Did you read Erica’s post on choosing a word to inspire your year? If not check it out here. I love this idea and just reading hers made me want to chase the year too.

Chase Hope

So I thought I would let you in on what I am going to chase for 2015. And go a step further and let you in a little on how I plan to chase some of these things. So here goes…

1. Healthier Eating – I addressed a lot of this in my post Back On the Wagon. Just getting down to eating cleaner and less processed food.

2. Give More – I want to give more of myself to people. I give a lot to my children and husband, which fills my heart with joy. But I know that now that I am no longer attached to a baby constantly, I have the time and ability to give more of my time and myself to things like volunteering and helping friends. I plan to be more involved in our church and really become vulnerable and closer with friends.

3. Physical Challenges – My biggest physical challenge is coming up in 4 months, the Tinker Bell Half Marathon. And on top of that I want to challenge myself to complete 100 miles of walking/running in a month (I have yet to choose the month, but I will). I also want to sign up for more fun runs that include obstacles to be challenging and fun.

4. Grow Closer to Christ – I want my children to be able to see the love that God has for them through me. To do this I need to become closer to Christ so I can be more like Him. I want to show the love, kindness, generosity, and patience that He has with us everyday.

5. Save Money – My husband and I both know we want to start saving more money and are working on plans to save monthly for things like Christmas and birthdays. Also to start saving money to one day (after Navy retirement) buy a house.

I challenge you to chase this year. Chase the things that you want to accomplish. Find even just one thing to actually go after with all you can. Come up with a plan to do this and be intentional with your plan. Don’t just say you are going to workout or spend more time with your family. Plan out your workout days and family fun days. I challenge you to truly ‘Chase 2015’ with all you can!

I’ll Be Home

I’ll be home for Christmas, you can count on me…

It is a familiar song and one my Grandma always said made her sad as an adult. I didn’t fully understand why, until I was unable to be “home” for Christmas.

My first home and the place I will always think of when asked about home is Indiana. It’s the house where I grew up with my parents and two brothers. My heart aches for that home during Christmas. That comfortable place where so many memories are. I can picture the tree, the stockings, the decorations and all the love that exists. Continue reading “I’ll Be Home”

DIY Gifts For The Whole Family

When it comes to Christmas, I am all about making gifts for my friends and family. Not only do I like saving the money, but I also like to make their gifts extra special and personalized. For those of you new to the DIY scene, do not fear; there are so many gifts that are super simple to make. Today I will share just a sampling of my favorites, but definitely search on Pinterest for more ideas (just a warning: you will most likely get more results than you ever dreamed of and therefore want to make them all).

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Continue reading “DIY Gifts For The Whole Family”

Family Ties: Part 2

A few months ago, I wrote about how my husband, daughter, and I had moved into live with my in-laws. We did this for multiple reasons, of which you can read about here. Now, almost six months since I first wrote, and a grand total of eight months since moving in, I’ve decided an update is in order.

Other than the “normal” challenges of having a very active toddler getting into everything as she grows and moves through her learning stages, things haven’t really changed around here. Life is going along smoothly and for that I am grateful. Do I miss having a place of my own? Yes, most definitely. Sometimes when it’s just our little family at home in the evenings, I think about how I really want that all the time. Just the power to choose who is in the house, or whether or not the tv is on etc would be nice. Not that either of those things bring up problems for us, but sometimes I just like the quiet; it’s nice to have a calm and relaxing evening after a crazy day of chasing a toddler around (go figure). Even if it is not completely quiet and the room is filled with giggles as daddy instigates a tickle fight, it’s still more peaceful to me than a sports game being viewed on the TV. Continue reading “Family Ties: Part 2”

Thankful Children

It’s November! Holy moly where did this year go? November in our house is big because we have Hank’s birthday (my baby is 1) and Thanksgiving (Steven’s favorite holiday). We are particularly excited about Thanksgiving this year because we have family coming out from Indiana and some of our closest friends are back from Japan and will get to come spend it with us too!

In the midst of all the excitement, one thing that has become increasingly important to me is teaching my children to be thankful. I like to do this all year-long but for the past few years I have tried to be very intentional about it in November. Teaching children to be grateful for the things they have is extremely important. We don’t want to raise children that cannot appreciate the blessings in their life.

I have mentioned before I am not crafty, but I have found that crafts are often a good way to get the girls to be involved and engaged in hands on activities. Continue reading “Thankful Children”

Halloween Party Mix

Not only is it Friday, it also just so happens to be one of my favorite holidays. IT’S HALLOWEEN!

“…This is Halloween, Halloween, Halloween…” (The Nightmare Before Christmas, 1993)

Halloween, for me, has so many fond memories. We would have family parties where would be contests of which family had the best costumes. The creativity really flowed. We would try to come up with the biggest and best costumes because that was totally awesome. I mean, if you didn’t have a great costume then you weren’t really celebrating Halloween properly. Continue reading “Halloween Party Mix”

and the costumes go marching by…

As October progresses, I have found myself thinking about Halloween costumes in my past. I’ve never been super excited about Halloween, but I do love dressing up, so, by default, I enjoy the holiday. I’m looking forward to seeing the neighborhood kids all dressed up and adorable as ladybugs, ninja turtles, and fairy princesses. I choose not to dwell on the creepy costumes.

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Warm little princess

Continue reading “and the costumes go marching by…”

GO PINK!

On Sunday, I watched football. If you know me, you know that that is an uncharacteristic statement. I fall asleep when football is on T.V.; I don’t actively engage in the game. However, this Sunday, as I spent time with my grandparents, the football game was the only thing that kept my grandpa from leaving the room; and I got sucked in.

I do have to say, the players pink gloves and shoes, etc. piqued my interest. In the recesses of my NFL knowledge, I do possess awareness that the NFL wears pink during the month of October in support of the breast cancer awareness initiative. However, on that particular day, I started to think more deeply about why they would choose to so demonstratively support awareness of a predominately female cancer (I know that men get breast cancer as well, please just follow my train of thought).

Each of those men on the field has a mother. A grandmother. Some have sisters, cousins, friends. Those big, burly men who lift weights, grunt while plowing into the opposing team, and have muscles the size of trees…they choose to wear pink in support of the women in their lives.

What does wearing pink on the football field do in the long run? On the national stage, it causes people to think and become aware of an issue. You can’ t do anything until you have awareness.  Donations for research are prompted from awareness. Research leads to new medications, treatments, knowledge…which in turn lead to steps forward in the fight against breast cancer.

Although it may seem somewhat insignificant, the color pink carries weight in the fight against breast cancer. Go Pink!

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