Monday, June 2, 2014

How I contracted tetanus from DIY

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I honestly marvel at people who DIY. I've been not so secretly stalking the Barksdale home reno and um... that's really impressive. They're gutting and cutting and prepping- which are the same steps you take when preparing an animal carcass to be eaten. I'll resist the urge to chase the rabbit trail of my thoughts on animal rigamortis because that is a different post entirely. What I'm really trying to say is that DIY sucks.

2 years ago, I found a can of paint that was a pretty shade of swampwater green. Perfect! Exactly what I've been needing to complete the top half and side of this shelf.

Yes, this is the "after" photo. Pay no mind to the peeling paint on the bottom. Its part of the effect. You don't even have to tell me how good this looks. I already know. Feel free to copy my design techniques.

Oh, you're still reading after having seen the picture? Perfect- I'll continue in my story. This little beaut used to hold my school things. After I gave my school things back,I got a fresh look at the ugliness of this shelf. I thought to myself "girl- you can spruce this thing up- come on now! Be that proverbs 31 woman and manhandle this thing outside and have no fear of the future (because how could you make it look any worse?)" YEAH! 

So I promptly got Masons wood chisel out and sliced my finger. It was only a minor slice so don't be alarmed. I may or may not have contracted tetanus. But really, don't worry about sending flowers or anything- I'm sure I'll be fine. 

 In all my tool knowledge glory I thought the chisel was a screwdriver- which was exactly the tool I needed for removing old staples!

So step 1 for restoring an old shelf: 
Fish out a tool, any tool, and remove the old crap from the furniture. 

Step 2: Take a break. After finding a bandaid for the aforementioned slice, I was tired. So I joined the rest of my family in the Sunday afternoon snooze. Why should I be the only one slaving away? 

Step 3: forget about the project. This is why I think DIY sucks. I'm not really into long term jobs. Especially after an injury. Remember? The slice! Owwwwww! So I mentally blocked out the shelf until... 

Step 4: remember the project upon waking in the morning to the rythmic sound of rain. Nothing better than a moist unfinished project. The next step requires hammering. Sooo, I layed out some towels to protect our carpet from any moisture that might accidentally fall on dried spit up and wrestled the wet shelf inside under the supervision of my screaming assistant. 

Step 5: do some hammering. Everyone knows that a DIY project isn't complete until some loud tool noise has been made. So, at 9 am, I set to work. I hammered throughout the entirety of Live with Kelly and Michael and then realized something. My neighbor's car is outside. They must have the day off. I've mentioned before how much they like us, so I'm sure they didn't mind the decibal of hammering that happened up against their bedroom wall. 😬😬😬

So here you have it. Our finished DIY shelf that only cost $17 in supplies, and any forthcoming medical expenses we may incur from the development of the slice and the disease that E picked up while making out with the Lowes cart. Easy Peasy.  

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Don't have a baby if...

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Don't have a baby if: 

1. You don't like advice from the self proclaimed peditricians that frequent the produce section at Walmart. 

After giving their unsolicited opinion that your baby looks "a little small- but maybe that's just because you have him all crammed in that baby backpack..." they proceed in the diagnosis by sticking their hands down "that baby backpack" in order to simultaneously infect your baby with the butt flake germ they picked up from touching their cart (that's not a joke- my mom actually saw someone bare handedly scratch their butt then touch a cart- enjoy your nightmare) and get uncomfortably close to your bosom. All of this happens so quickly that all you can muster is "well- it's actually a girl..." while subtly moon walking backwards away from the spinach. 

2. You already have a legitimate excuse for missing things.

If not, nothing says "don't worry about missing great mimi's 110th birthday party" like a baby with a mysterious eye crusty. This also works for general hygiene and household cleanliness. You can totally slide by on all of these fronts with an easy "I was going to do something about that black mold... and my hair thats being held in a ponytail by only its own grease... but then the baby pooped today, soooo...." and everyone you tell will just nod their head and say "yeah... if the baby pooped, there's nothing you can do about that..."

3. You don't want to know about everyone's BUSINESS.

And by business, I mean their fallopian tubes, cervix, and dilation. If you feel awkward reading this, and you're checking over your shoulder as we speak to make sure no one sees these words on your iphone screen- don't have a baby. After childbirth you have a free pass to discuss every bodily function with anyone with ears. Also, you are now allowed to text every mom you know with a conversation starter that goes like this: "so, this might be TMI about my body, but..... [something that is wayyyyyy TMI for the internet]..... is that normal? Also, your kids are looking super cute on Instagram! SMILEY FACE!"

4. You'd rather sleep all night than laugh all night. Basically, if you're a party pooper. 

In the beginning, Mason and I were all "we are soooooo tired.... ughhhh can't peel my left eyelid up... ugh... how long have I been wearing this tshirt? 9 days? okay... " in the middle of the night. But now, we COME ALIVE. We have seriously laughed harder in the middle of the night over the past 8 months than we have at any other time of our relationship. There's just something hilarious about a giggly baby that thinks dad's morning breath is smile worthy at 4 am. Mommy, of course, has dazzling breath.

5. You're not ready to fall in love. 

The first scripture that comes to mind about love is of course 1 Corinthians 13, and Im sure some freshman Bible scholar will call me out on a context faux paus, but seriously yall - Love is patient and kind, it doesn't envy, it doesn't boast. It isn't proud or rude. It isn't self seeking. It's not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrong. It doesn't delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth. Doesn't this sum up parenthood? Having a baby has taught me so many new lessons about love, and the fruit that comes from it. I don't have patience on my own- but when I love someone as much as I love that baby in the "baby backpack", I have enough patience to sing the song about the hippo-that-takes-a-bath 90 times in a day. It's CRAZY how much you fall in love with a baby. People tell you, but you just don't know until you realize you've still got black mold and bad breath and greasy hair and you don't EVEN care because your baby is smiling at you.

this picture has been changed to black and white as an attempt to mask the unshoweredness. You're welcome. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Contentment and eating our fill of honey

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This past weekend marks the two year anniversary of when Mason and I squeeeeeezed everything we owned into the tiniest budget friendly U-Haul and hitched our wagon (so to speak) to Fayetteville. We signed a lease for an apartment, settled onto our Craigslist couch and wondered how two people without jobs pay the rent. Luckily, I had my trusty Psychology degree.... which helps you get a job at.... no where.

Here's our Criagslist Find. 
Can you believe the previous owner let this gem go?? 

One day we were at the local coffee shop (Mama Carmens) using their free wifi (unemployment=no dinero for internet) to search for jobs. Mason's dad called and the conversation went a little like this:

Mason's Dad: What are yall doing?
Mason: Oh, we're at Mama Carmens applying for jobs.
Mason's Dad: WHAT??? You both have college degrees! Don't apply to work at Mama Carmens yet! Lets keep looking!

So we didn't get jobs at Mama Carmens, but it would have been cool to learn how to make all those yummy drinks. After a few weeks though, we did start to wonder how to Lord would provide. It was during this time that we literally made a list of everything in our lives that we were thankful for and posted it on our bathroom mirror. Reading our list daily helped up remember the ways the Lord had already provided and would continue to meet our needs. We learned a lot about being content where we were. Which brings me to a verse that we have on display in our daughter's room now:

[Yet true godliness with] CONTENTMENT IS ITSELF GREAT WEALTH. - 1 Tim.6:6

ohhhhh man contentment can be hard. It was hard when we had no jobs and it's hard today. It's hard if you're single or married or wanting kids or having kids or wanting a house or living in a house or even if your dream is a home gym but YOU DON'T HAVE A GARAGE BECAUSE YOU STILL LIVE IN AN APARTMENT. (ahem.. *that one isn't actually MY dream*) It's so hard to remember that the great "wealth" that we're all chasing after- what we THINK we need- actually comes when we learn to be content with what the Lord has already provided while pursuing godliness.

Eating our fill of honey

So, SURPRISE! we got jobs. Mason got an accounting job that he could walk to from our home and I got a teaching job clear across the state (20 minutes away) that I got to drive our only reliable vehicle to. Our only reliable vehicle at the time was Mason's large manly truck. So I summoned my inner he woman and proudly drove that big rig to work, reminding myself to be thankful for transportation.

Fast forward to now. Mason has a different job now- that he LOVES. I've been given the opportunity to stay home with our beautiful girl. We are so so happy. So, a few months ago I was reading Deuteronomy and realized that I was reading my own story. Here's what jumped out at me:

Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna.... He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Deut. 8:3

The whole chapter is actually really good and convicting, and if you're in the mood for a kick in the butt I encourage you to read it. Because from there we start talking about honey.

The Israelites are entering a land of blessings. There are promises of gushing water, food, and sweet honey. Food is plentiful and "nothing is lacking." But there is a charge at the end that I can't shake- "when you've eaten your fill, be sure to praise the Lord your God..." (v.10) because "this is the time to be careful! beware that in your plenty, you do not forget the Lord..." (v.11).

I think the hard thing about remembering to thank God for the "honey" is the REMEMBERING. Being taught something is fine but when it comes to remembering what we've been taught - its hard. Trust me- I saw this first hand as a teacher. Usually it would go a little something like this:

Me: "What are the endings for -AR verbs in the present tense? Lets say them together."
All of us: *cheerfully* *with excitement* *we love Spanish!* " o-as-a-amos-an!"
Me: "Okay, fantastic! Now write them down on your quiz!!"
All of them: *angry faced* *downtrodden* *no I didn't just steal your iphone so stop looking so sad!* "we don't remember....."

Lord help us remember where you've provided and be content where you have us for now!

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is- I'm ALLLLLLLL about a good deal and saving money and stretching our income to cover all of the extra expenses (I'm looking at you student loans...), but at the end of the day- I want to sit and be content. I want to realize that contentment is great wealth. I want to remember the ways the Lord has provided and not take him for granted in times that we've had our "fill of honey." And I do mean literal honey. Yall wouldn't believe the bottles of honey we consume.

Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog HopLou Lou Girls

Thursday, April 10, 2014

3 Lessons on Life Without a Smart Phone

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So, remember that time I started a blog 2 years ago about saving money?

And then I got pregnant, had a beautiful baby, and couldn't remember to wear deodorant, much less post on a blog.

Well guess what? I dropped my iphone in water on Monday which coincided nicely with the first time ever that my beautiful baby has taken an independent nap lasting longer than 20 minutes. Therefore, I have time for an update. For my faithful readers (I'm looking at you, Kendall Calvert), I'm back! :)

Here is the latest tip we've received that has helped with our grocery bill immensely: meal plan. It goes just like how it sounds- you plan your meals. You plan meals that use the same kinds of ingredients and you literally write them on your calendar. Less wasted left over ingredients and less time going to the grocery story every night at 5 o clock with all the other crazies trying pull together ingredients for a delicious, healthy, filling, dinner. (AKA, when this happens, we end up with something from the frozen food section).

Since the baptism of my phone ON MY BIRTHDAY, and my temporary venture back into 2009 with my trusty LG, I've had some time to reflect on life without modern technology. Here are my thoughts:

1. Texting with T9 is crap. Here's how my attempts at texting Mason have gone:

Me: I'm writing a b   l   o   g post.
Mason (on his shiny working iphone): a   w   e   s   o   m   e
Me: Yes. So Happy. Clogging is hard...

2. (Mason is going to make so much fun of me for this...) But I just KNOW this is how Katniss felt- living underground- trying to survive through an apocalyptic type war... I truly feel that I can identify with her even more now. When the nukes start flying, I'll give everyone a refresher course on how to survive with T9. (see #1 for an example of my skillz)

3. I MIGHT be a texting addict. On night 1 after the INCIDENT, I tried to play it cool at the AT&T store.

Sales man: We can upgrade you tonight to [an incredibly overpriced and ridiculous plan with a name referencing the future- I think it was "NEXT!"] if you don't want to wait until May 1 for your free upgrade. *huge sparkly smile*
Me: Oh noooooooo... I dont care about technology. We don't even have cable- I'm above needing the latest and greatest!  No big- Lets just fire up the ole LG. This will be FIIIIIIIIINE! (I'll show him!)

Hours later:
Me: I'm not trying to be cell phone lady buuuuuut..... I really need to be able to accept imessages--- who am I? Laura Ingalls Wilder? Its been like 6 hours since I've texted ANYONE.
Mason: You're addicted to texting.
Me: oh nooooo... I'm just a social person- I need interaction. I'm missing so much in the lives of my friends- its not about the phone- its about PEOPLE! I CARE ABOUT PEOPLE!!!

.... so yeah, I'm a texting addict.

dont worry- something about T9 and sending and resending texts at grandma speed starves out an addiction.

I know this post mostly isnt about saving money- but I think it  goes along nicely with the tagline.... Its kind of a big deal.

Time without a smart phone actually does teach you a lot about yourself (see #2 and #3) - anyone willing to take a smart phoneless (also known as "I read books again") challenge with me?

(This picture has nothing to do with nothing- but its pretty, huh?)