May 26, 2010

Is American Idol Fair?

Posted in Pop culture at 6:30 pm by Jennifer

One of my favorite shows is American Idol. I love it!  I love the auditions.   I laugh when watching delusional people make fools of themselves!  I love watching the good ones make it through to the next round.  I really enjoy watching the top 12 sing out their hearts and of course, state the obvious to Mike that they were either awesome or terrible.

It saddens me that American Idol is mainly a popularity contest.  When Crystal Bowersox is the only girl in the top five after Siobhan got eliminated, its a small clue as to who is voting – mainly screaming 12-year-old girls.  Its also a good sign when of the first 4 to get eliminated, three of them are girls.

Is American Idol meant to be a popularity contest?  Why don’t they limit the number of votes to say, 10 per phone line.  It would help to ensure that the good people stay on and the bad people leave.  That way another Daughtry isn’t sent home as the fourth runner up or another Taylor Hicks doesn’t win.  Where is he, anyway?  Anybody heard from him lately? <crickets chirping >  Exactly my point.


May 25, 2010

How We are Saving for a House on One Income

Posted in Frugality tagged , at 2:00 pm by Jennifer

First, I must say, Mike and I are huge Dave Ramsey fans!  We took Financial Peace University three years ago, and it changed our lives.  We drank the kool-aid and now, we are completely debt free!  We officially became debt free in February of 2009, when we paid the second mortgage off on our house in Arkansas.  We already had the emergency savings, so we were good!  We saved up for a car and bought my dad’s orange Cobalt.  Then, we decided to move to OKC and had to sell our house – to a $20K loss!

So, here we are, on one income, saving all over again for another house.  Here are some tips to things that we are doing or are trying to do:

1. We have a budget.  We’re not perfect at it, but it helps keeps us in line on our spending.

2. We use cash envelopes.  This is so important!

3. There has to be a lot of, “Do I really need that?”  “I can’t get a haircut right now because we don’t have the money until next week.” “We can’t go out to eat because we spent too much on groceries this week.” “No vacation this year because I really want a house.” “We should start eye therapy after we buy a house.”  These are actual comments that we have come from our mouths in the last few months.  I’m laughing just thinking about them.

4. We are saving slowly.  On one income, it takes time to build up savings.  But little by little, our cash pile is starting to build up.  One of these days, we will be able to buy a house.  We just have to wait patiently for that time.

5. I don’t often pay full price for clothing or baby stuff.  In fact, I am trying to hit up garage sales, but that is kind of hard with a little one.  Lily doesn’t have the fanciest nursery, but it is still very cute!

6. We have used stuff.  Our couch sags a little where I nurse Lily, and it has a few holes in it.  If we want a new one, we will get it from Craigslist.  Our cars are older, but they run really well!

7.  Contentment goes a long way.  I have to pray sometimes to just be content in a rental house and to cool down when I really start to get the “I want a house” fever.  Its hard, but I know from our experience in Arkansas that it is just a house!  Not worth whining about.

May 22, 2010

Guaranteed weight loss I don’t recommend

Posted in Baby tagged at 8:06 pm by Jennifer

Here’s a formula for you:

Stomach flu + no food in + breastfeeding baby – food out = guaranteed weight loss

Plus, you don’t want to eat much the next day, even when you are feeling tons better.  The joys of being sick!  I was under the weather yesterday, and am much better today.  Fortunately, though, I didn’t feel too bad and nobody in the family got it.  Thank goodness!  I really don’t want to deal with a sick hubby or baby too!

And tomorrow, I am hoping to go to eat like normal and of course, go to church.

May 18, 2010

Remembering the Walk down the Stage

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:24 pm by Jennifer

I can’t believe how time flies!  Ten years ago, I was 17 years old and graduating from high school.  I was best friends with Krista Lin McClintock, Jennifer McDole, and Sara Brooks.  My little group of friends were each unique in their own way, and big surprise – I was part of the nerdy crowd.  My big goal was to make it into the top 5% of the class, which I proudly did.  I played the violin in the Symphony Orchestra, and I was in the Calculus/AP Physics block.  Yes, I was nerdy!

I graduated ten years ago today, in fact.  It is hard to believe it.  I have attended and graduated college, met and married my college sweetheart, worked for a few years, and had my first baby.  Its amazing where I have been and where I have ended up.  I think this is where I thought I would be.  No complaints here.

May 16, 2010

God is Still Good

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 8:10 pm by Jennifer

I’m stealing this idea from Brian Russell, my LifeGroup leader.  He posted this video onto Facebook.   Thanks, Brian!

Watching this video makes me think of how I want to live my life.  No matter what happens…good and bad, I want to trust God every day.  I want to declare His praises.   I want to have an undivided heart.  I want to be forgiving.  I am currently bad at each thing.  Very bad!  But by the grace of God, I can triumph over myself and my flesh and learn to love Him and others as myself.

I want to live like Zac Smith, who passed away today.  I didn’t know Him, and I just stumbled across this video.  Well done, Zac!  Well done!

May 13, 2010

Why did we wait?

Posted in Baby, Family at 11:54 pm by Jennifer

I was thinking earlier about how Michael and I waited five years to have Lily.  Five years!  That is a really long time to wait to have a baby.  True, I was dawning on my 22nd-year when we tied the knot, but that is a long time.  I just wasn’t ready.  I decided that I wanted to wait and work for a few years.  I wanted to travel and buy a house, blah, blah, blah…

Well, we bought the house.  We paid off all of our debt, and we even got our emergency savings built up.  I worked in a lab for four years as a lab technician (I went to school for Ceramic Engineering…I didn’t even work in the same field as my degree), which was an okay job.  We went on a cruise and a vacation to Gulf Shores, AL.  I got to go on a mission trip to Mali and Haiti.

When I look at my sweet baby girl, who is snoozing in her swing, it makes me wonder why.  She is absolutely precious – just a joy to my heart.  I worked in a job that I didn’t really like that much so that I could buy things.  Things that don’t compare to what we have in Lily.  We sold the house and lost almost $20,000 on it, and now we are saving from scratch for another house.  Yet, I still get to stay home.  Savings are slower, but I get to be home.  I never miss a minute with my precious one.

I don’t necessarily regret waiting itself, just the reasons for our waiting.  If you feel God leading you to wait to have children, that is between you and Him.  I fear that we waited out of selfishness and fear.  Not worth it.

May 12, 2010

The Post Mom-in-Law Blues

Posted in Family, Stay-at-home mom struggles at 6:43 pm by Jennifer

My wonderful mother-in-law was here the last few days, and unfortunately, she had to leave this morning.  I had such a great time with her.  She went to our baby dedication and small group bbq on Sunday, to the mall and watched Lily on Monday, and to the zoo yesterday.  It was fun!

Now, I’m kind of down.  Its hard being alone after having someone here for several days in a row.  Especially so when Glenda is one of those women who love to talk.  She talks so much, and its pleasant.  Lily doesn’t talk so much.  To her credit, she is only four months old and takes a ton of naps.  Not quite the same thing.

I would call one of my friends to hang out this afternoon, but I need to get things done around the house.  Neglect tends to happen when we have family down, and now, it is my turn to get things caught up (I’m not really very good at keeping things caught up when we don’t have family to visit).   <sigh>   I think I’m going to try and get together with someone later this week.

I’m not the only one who experience this, right?  I know that stay-at-home moms struggle.  I’ve only been one since October, and these struggles are a constant up and down battle.  I know that I’ll be okay…just right now, I’m a little down.  In an hour or two, I will be fine.  Especially after I have my coffee, which I just finished brewing.  🙂

May 11, 2010

Baby Cereal In = Baby Cereal Out

Posted in Baby at 3:01 pm by Jennifer

Baby cereal is nasty stuff.  You take not-so-yummy breastmilk and mix it with cereal, and presto chango, you get baby cereal!  And an almost-5-month-old baby doesn’t quite realize that she needs to swallow it.  I put it in and slowly, it all comes out.  Such is the life of a momma trying to introduce solid foods.  Someday, she will swallow it.  So instead of finishing her cereal breakfast, I laid her down for a nap.  And conk out she did!

May 10, 2010

Crying More than My Little One

Posted in Baby at 8:27 pm by Jennifer

We had Lily’s Baby Dedication today at yesterday.  It was awesome!  Before we entered the sanctuary, as we were entering, during the dedication, and while praying, I couldn’t stop crying!  I don’t know what it is, but I couldn’t help but cry.  To me, it is meaningful to say before the church that we are going to raise her up before Christ.  Its spiritually significant in both her life and ours.

So, I cried more than my little one (who was calm as can be).  Kind of sad.  But that is who I am.

Michael, Lily, & I

May 9, 2010

Happy Mother’s Day to Me!

Posted in Baby at 2:05 pm by Jennifer

This is my first Mother’s Day!  There is nothing quite so sweet as holding my little 4.5-month-old baby girl.  Her smiles and laughs and cooing are just amazing.  I love breastfeeding her.  I love watching her grow and develop.

A year ago, we told our family that we were pregnant, and of course, everyone was excited!  It took us 8 months to get pregnant, and I should never take it for granted for a minute that I have a little one.  I know of some women who have lost their babies, and needless to say, it’s heart wrenching.  I am just so blessed to have Miss Lily, who is currently sitting in her Bumbo in the rocking chair, talking to us.  I love it!

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