Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Materialistic Christmas

Since when did Christmas become so materialistic? Seriously.

I deleted my Facebook on Christmas Day because I was so sick of it. I also have tried to steer clear of Twitter during the last few days. Everyone posting and bragging about everything they got. I'm sorry, but I didn't even want anything this year. I didn't expect anything. Christmas is about family. 

I was "Bah Humbug" all week and I couldn't figure out why. Materialistic people . . that's what it was.

It seems like the last few years, it's been getting worse and worse for me. This year, I didn't even get to enjoy Christmas because I let everyone else bother me. Deleting Facebook helped, but I should have done it much, much sooner.

However, I'm so thankful for everything. Santa was way too good to Jon and I this year. My grandparents (despite my grandma having a stroke earlier this year) are still in good health at 80-something years old. The rest of the family stayed healthy, too. Jon's side also stayed in good health this year.

I feel like such a Scrooge this year. I'm sure this materialism has been around for years, but this year it really bothered me. Is it New Years yet? I've been trying to keep my mind off of everything by working on our financial binder and meal planning binder (posts will follow once they're done).

Does anyone else feel the same way?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Photo Shoot

Here are a few of the Christmas pictures, as promised, from our photo shoot with Little Neighbor Studios!

And our Christmas card:

Friday, December 14, 2012

Hey Guys, What's Up?

So my first semester of Graduate school finals are officially over. I'm all like:

So, what's planned for the Spring semester? Since I'm taking the semester off of classes, I'm going to really focus on getting my portfolio site finished. It's still and I feel like: new name, new site. I'm going to ditch the blue color scheme and go for something different. I already have bought, but that's about all I've done so far.

In other news, Christmas is about 10 days away. My shopping is almost finished, but my bank account is yelling at me. I get paid tomorrow, but it will be gone before the end of the day. -Sigh- I really want to go to Financial Peace University, but our church just ended a class. Hoping a new one starts up in the new year. If not, we'll find a class somewhere close. I'm so ready to be financially fit. I want to get bills paid and be debt free by the time I'm 30.

I'm excited about Christmas. I can't wait to spend time with family and wake up without an alarm for a few days. Ying is going over to my Aunt and Uncle's house for a few days after Christmas. I'm sure she'll love that. Her kitty passed away a few years ago, and I can tell she would really love Ying's company for a few days. Mia will stay at my parents house over the break....I'm sure Austin won't mind playing with her and keeping her occupied.

Also, our first round of Christmas cards went out yesterday. Once they're all sent (and received), I will post the pictures on here, as well as on Facebook. My friend Sharayah (Little Neighbor Studio) took family pictures of us for our Christmas cards. I wanted to keep them a surprise for everyone. Can't wait to show you all. I think I almost love them more than our wedding pictures - maybe because the fur babies made it in these?

Friday, December 7, 2012

Inspiration Board: Bedroom/Closet

What do you want your bedroom/closet to look like? Create your own inspiration board.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Community Involvement [2013 Edition]

How do you want to get involved in your community this year?

The first thing on my list is to get involved with the church. A few weeks ago, my husband and I attended an information session on spiritual gifts & how to use them. My spiritual gifts are: administration, faith, and mercy. I don't tithe on a regular basis (which is something I also need to change in 2013), so I figured it's time to start serving the church. I feel God has been pushing me to get involved at Genesis ever since I started going there back in September. While on the Facebook page, I noticed they were looking for someone to help in the office. I was uncertain I would be able to help because I work an 8-5 job. She assured me that it will be no issue and I can easily do the work at home or after 5pm! I will be meeting with her in January to discuss what all they need help with.

I also want to volunteer elsewhere, I'm just not sure where God is leading my heart this time. I thought about going to serve at the rescue mission, but it seems like God doesn't want me to go there. I've always wanted to go on a mission trip somewhere, but budget-wise, it isn't possible right now. Trying to be patient is always hard, but I'm learning it's what I need to do. Just be patient. Let go and let God.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

My Hero

God's always there when I need Him most - and today, I really felt his presence with me.

Today, on the way to work, I heard this song come on the radio:

Before the first verse was over, I was already crying.

I truly felt God was speaking to me. I've had such a rough time loving myself lately. I feel like I'm failing as a student, mom, and wife. I haven't felt pretty at all lately either because I've been struggling with my weight since this summer.

I got myself together and went into the gas station to grab a fountain drink. I needed a little pick me up before heading into work. When I came back out to the car, this song was on the radio:

Really God? Two songs in a row? There's no way that's a coincidence. I can't even explain what it feels like to feel him speaking to you through songs. Usually I just listen to music for background noise. Today, I felt I was literally forced to listen to every single word. He was like "Alright, daughter, you obviously don't get my other signs, so listen to theses songs!!!!"

Even though I'm still struggling mentally, I was reminded today that God is walking with me every step of the way. I don't have to face the devil alone.

Don't give up.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My Wisest Decision

This month, I'm going to be following prompts from the Think Kit developed by Smallbox. I often have a hard time coming up with topics, and this seemed pretty interesting!

What was the wisest decision you made this year?

Wow, that's a tough one. This year was so eventful - I graduated, got a new apartment, new job, married my best friend, found a new church to call home, and added two new furbabies to the family.

I would have to say - going to graduate school. I'm happy I decided to apply in the Spring. I wasn't 100% sure it was a good decision at the time, but that's where God was leading me. This Summer was heavenly. No classes and a Bachelor's degree in my hand. I don't think I would have went back to school, to be honest.

Classes have been so stressful this semester, which is why I've decided to take next semester off. I'll start back up again in the Summer. I just need to breathe a little (and enjoy my new husband). Graduate school isn't the piece of cake I thought it would be, but I'm happy I decided to go. It may take me 4-5 years to finish my Masters, but that's alright. :)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Poll: Brunette or Blonde?

I've been using demi permanent hair color for the last few months. I'm really loving it. However, it's becoming a pain in the rear to redye it every 5 weeks or so.

Should I permanently dye it brunette OR keep doing demi permanent so I can go back to blonde in the summer?

Natural hair color.
Demi permanent.
 I've never dyed my hair before (only bleached), and I'm pretty terrified. I don't want to dye it brunette unless I'm 110% positive I won't regret it. I know I can always bleach it back, but I'd rather not do a ton of damage to my virgin hair.

Thankful: Heated Seats & Conclusion

I'm thankful for my heated seats.

I've been so stressed lately and every morning I have been turning my heated seats on in my car. It feels amazing on my tense back. I believe it's going to be a requirement for my cars from here on out.

I'm happy I decided to write down something I was thankful for every day in November. Some things were easy, but others I really had to think about. During Black Friday, I saw a lot of greediness and consumerism. It made me sick to my stomach. Christmas is supposed to be about giving. Not receiving. I saw a story of a police officer giving a homeless man a pair of socks and new boots. What if every time of the year was like Christmas? Seriously, the world would be a better place. I am guilty for this - I only think of generous giving at Christmas time. What about in the spring, when kids need new shoes or summer toys to play with?

This Christmas, Jon and I got some things for kids in Hamilton County (during the BF sales). We also were looking at volunteering to sort and wrap the gifts, but unfortunately our work schedules didn't allow it. It seriously gets me thinking though..

What is people treated every season like Christmas?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thankful: Kohl's Cash

I am thankful Kohl's Cash exists.

I spent a lot of money on everyone else during Black Friday. So much, that I got $90 Kohl's Cash. I've been wanting a new peacoat for a few years now, so I went ahead and got one with my Kohl's Cash. You can't beat paying $20 for a $220 coat. :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thankful: Chuck E. Cheese's

If CEC didn't exist, I wouldn't have met my husband.

If they didn't hire me, we never would have met. As much as I disliked working there, I'm happy I did. Everything happens for a reason. Seriously.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thankful: Tissues

I'm thankful for tissues, today.

It's better than using the same old handkerchief time after time. I'd rather not use my sleeve either.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thankful: Christmas Music

I am thankful for Christmas music.

My anxiety is awful today and Christmas music seems to be the only thing that can calm me down right now. Without Christmas music, I'm not sure I could get any work done today.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thankful: Frozen Pizza

I am thankful for frozen pizza.

Jon and I got back home to Cicero tonight. After carrying everything up, we realized we didn't have much to eat around here. Luckily we had some frozen pizza in the fridge. It was nice to have such a quick (and easy) dinner tonight.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thankful: The Great Pumpkin

I'm thankful for my car.

It's been a good car during the last year. I was used to having smaller cars, so this was definitely a change for me. The gas mileage is about the same as my old car, and I love it. It makes it easy to haul stuff, also.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Update: Neurocardiogenic Syncope

On Wednesday, I wen to the neurologist to get an update on my neurocardiogenic syncope.

He gave me the option of doing nothing and toughing it out or giving me beta blockers. I decided to take the beta blockers. I'll be seeing in three months, so we'll see if my fainting spells get better or not. He also told me to increase my salt intake. It's funny, all of the years of my life, doctors have told me to watch the salt. Now? Have all the salt you want! This is going to be a difficult one for me because I really don't like salty stuff.

Another thing they told me was make sure to drink plenty of fluids. This has always been hard for me. Some days it's super easy to get in all of my water, while other days, I barely get three glasses in. Luckily, Weight Watchers has trained me to try to get in eight glasses a day. It's something I've always struggled with, but I'm working on getting better with it.

I'm just happy they figured out what was causing my fainting and are taking ways to try to prevent it.

Thankful: Black Friday Deals

I'm thankful for all of the amazing sales on Black Friday.

We saved ~$500+ this year. Our most successful year yet. I love Black Friday. We are done with everyone but three people (and it's not even December yet!).

I know a lot of people think Black Friday is ridiculous and stupid, but if those deals didn't exist - I don't think we could have afforded gifts for everyone this year.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful: Home Cooked Meals

I'm thankful for delicious home cooked meals.

I already said I was thankful for family, so this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the delicious home cooked meals I ate today (and this week).

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thankful: Paid Vacations

I'm thankful to have a job that give me paid vacations for holidays.

(Unfortunately I'm not on a warm beach - but I'm with family so it's okay I guess :p ...)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Our DIY Wedding

I would highly recommend doing some DIY things for every wedding. Not only does it save money, it makes the wedding seem more special instead of "cookie cutter". Don't hesitate to add your own special touches. For example, my husband and I met each other while working at Chuck E. Cheese's. We went to the store and bought Chuck E. and Helen dolls. After that, we went to Build A Bear and got bride and groom outfits. It was an excellent touch to our special day (and we have them on display in our bedroom). Corny? Sure. Not to us, though.

It's important to do what YOU want. It's you wedding day - who cares what others think? Below are some of the images of the things we did ourselves for the wedding:

Altar flowers.

Candy bar signs.


Cupcake labels.

Memory candle & pictures.

Bride & bridesmaid bouquets.

None of this was necessarily tough, you just need to make the time for it. We saved a ton of money by making our own bouquets (and we get to keep them forever!).

Thankful: CVS

I'm thankful CVS is within walking distance from our apartment.

I woke up this morning with a cold/sinus infection. I plan on walking over there this morning to get some strong cold medicine.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thankful: My Planner

I'm thankful my planner helps me get through the busiest weeks.

As much as I love technology, I still use a paper planner for scheduling and to do lists. My planner is always with me - and if it's not, I'm definitely freaking out. It's nice to step away from technology for a few minutes each day to see what I have planned. It also helps me be productive when I can physically cross things off of my list of things to do.

Post-Wedding Blues

This is a real thing - post-wedding depression.

I already have depression, so I didn't think anything of it. After thinking about it, it didn't make any sense to me. I just married my best friend, we're so happy together, why in the world am I crying all of the time?

I began looking online to see if other women got depressed after their wedding. There are several who have - I even called my mom to ask if she had it after their wedding. It all makes sense. We were engaged for almost 3 years (long distance for 4) and I'd been planning and dreaming for so long. Then it's all over in the blink of an eye...I barely remember the day, it was such a blur (and no, I didn't even have one sip of alcohol).

Tips on getting out of the post-wedding blues:

  • Clean - I cleaned the apartment a lot. Jon just moved in, so there was a lot to put away and clean up.
  • Reorganize - I reorganized our dressers and closet, as well as a few other rooms. I also found great places to put all of our awesome wedding gifts!
  • Crafts, crafts, crafts - I made a book out of our wedding cards (see here) as one of my projects. Keeping my head and hands busy was a big one. I tried to have a new craft every week.
  • Coloring - Seriously. I bought a Hello Kitty coloring book and a 64 count box of crayons and went to town. It's awesome for destressing too.
  • Pray - This is the most important one. I pleaded with God every night to get me out of the rut I was in. I would wake up and go to bed crying every day. I continued to take my depression medicine, but it wasn't enough during this time, so I reached out to Him.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thankful: Retail Therapy

I'm thankful retail therapy is real and actually works.

I've been struggling with my weight since our wedding, and have had a hard time feeling good in anything I wear. Jon and I went to Kohl's today after church to get a few Christmas gifts. I decided to browse the clearance section for myself. I found a really cute purple dress for only $9.60 (originally $68). Woo! Getting a bargain on something that makes me feel great it always a plus.