The Shock

NOTE: This post was written on April 13th, 2011. Our little one is now 18 1/2 weeks along :)

It was a slow rising morning for me. I didn’t have to get up for work, but I was awake anyway. I lingered in bed, until my husband came back upstairs from his morning ritual (he feeds the dog and cat in the am, I’m on night duty). While he started getting ready for work, I decided I was going to take a pregnancy test. There was no real reason for it, I hadn’t missed AF yet, we’d only been trying for a little while, but I just had an urge to take one.

The next 5 minutes would change our lives. I went into the hall bathroom since Brian was in the master and took the test. I stared at it waiting for what felt like forever. I had already decided it would be negative, so when it stopped flashing and said in clear print “PREGNANT” I had to do a double take. WHAT?!?! I ran out of the bathroom and back into our master where Brian was in the middle of showering. I threw open the door and shoved the test at him “LOOK!” I was so nervous my hands were shaking, we did it, we made a baby! I had already set up some errands to run and now I had to do them while I was full of excitement. This day was going to be so long!

I decided to call my doctor’s office to see if they could get me in to confirm, just in case and they set an appointment for 2:30pm. I got ready, sent Brian off to work and loaded the dog in the car for his vet appointment. I got back home, dropped the dog off and headed to the dentist, still in shock at what we’d discovered.

At the dentist office, I had to tell the hygienist that I was expecting when she wanted to take an  x-ray, she was the first one, other than my husband to know! I never imagined that would be the case, that’s for sure :). I finished my teeth cleaning, and called Brian to see if he wanted to meet for lunch. I was in the area and it seemed like a good day for it.

I asked him as we walked in to the restaurant if he was nervous, excited, upset. He said he was the first two, but wanted to know why I thought he’d be upset. My response was “Because it happened so quickly”. He chuckled and said “if I didn’t expect this to happen with what we were doing…”. Okay, he had a point!

We enjoyed our lunch and I headed home to wait for my appointment. Some of the most agonizing time. When I got to the doctors office I was so nervous, I was so afraid they were going to tell me the test was bad and that I wasn’t actually pregnant. I would be heartbroken.

As it turns out, they confirmed that I was actually pregnant instead! The real kicker was my due date. We hadn’t thought at all about when our baby would be born if we got pregnant now, we were just excited to be trying. Well, it turns out I’m due December 25th! Merry Christmas!

I called Brian on the way home to tell him the great news and then immediately called my mom. I had to tell her! I then called my dad and he was excited too. I waited for Brian to come home and we decided to call our brother and sister and let them know they were going to be an Aunt and Uncle. Then we called his mom and step-dad and told them they’d be getting a grandbaby for Christmas – you could literally hear the jumping up and down (and screaming) when we told them. It was a moment I wish I could have taped :). We hung up with them and made a last call to Brian’s Dad and Step-mom. We had decided to only tell those closest to us until we knew for sure everything was going to be okay.

I’m still reeling from the news and can’t believe how blessed we are. We love our little bean already and “its” only 4 weeks old.

Once a planner, always a planner…to a fault.

{Blows the dust off} Whew! It’s been a while hasn’t it? Turns out I’m not the best at keeping up with my blog. I’m going to try and turn that around this year though. I’ve already missed six months, but hey, better late than never, right? I need to update my 101 Things again, but I figured I’d start out with something on a bit of serious note.

My Plan (it makes me laugh to even say that).

I’ve always had a “plan” for how I wanted my life to be, at what age I wanted certain events to take place (I wanted to get married at 25, have my first child at 28 and my second at 30). Crazy right? How do you plan your life that way? Truth is, you don’t, or shouldn’t, if you want to keep your sanity. I’ve learned a lot in my almost 30 (YIKES) years on this planet. And one of the most prominent things is that you just can’t plan for everything. That doesn’t mean, however, that I still won’t try.

I stumbled upon a quote that I have fallen slightly in love with:

“Sometimes, before you make any plans or resolutions, before you declare your heroic intent to persevere, you just have to cry.”
Jaclyn Dolamore (Magic Under Glass)

I’ve cried a lot (I mean a LOT), but it’s not always before I’ve made plans. A majority of the time, it’s after my plans have failed to go the way I thought they should. That doesn’t mean things haven’t turned out for the better per say, but I’ve felt a lot less in control. I have a thing about making back up plans (usually A, B and at least C). I’m trying to learn that you can’t always live in an “if; then” kind of world, but it’s a lot easier said than done.

Here’s to learning how to “go with the flow” while keeping my plan in place, ya know, just in case ;).

101 Things I’ve put off….

Seems I feel the need to update this once a year…I’ve got a lot of work to do and I’ve got a lot of prioritizing to do. This blog has fallen by the wayside, while life has taken over. I’m going to work at getting it back in shape and blow the dust off.

Bold – Done!

Italic – Working on it

Blue – Uhh, oh yeah that was on my list wasn’t it…
101 Goals in 1001 Days:

My Body:
1. Use my Wii Fit daily – I used it for the first time in 340 days Tuesday, and haven’t used it since then…sigh
2. Take the dog for a walk on nice days – We are currently in freezing temps and snowy weather, if I’m realistic, I’m not walking the dog on a regular basis until Spring.
3. Eat more fruit/veggies – This has been going well for me so far, I’ve been eating more fruits/veggies and ordering more salads if/when we go out places. I’m happy with my progress here
4. Get at least 6 hours of sleep each night – This has also been going fairly well for me. There have only been a handful of days that haven’t yielded 6+hrs of sleep
5. Cook Healthier meals – Thanks to some wonderful online resources (Kitchen Parade and Liz Brooks at Easy Meals Examiner) and my new subscription to Cooking Light I’ve been able to make things at home that are much healthier than we used to eat.
6. Lose as much of the 70lbs I need to as I can – I’ve made more progress with this, since having a “buddy” to be accountable to. I’m down 15lbs so far and still working.
7. Maintain what I lose – Since I’ve only lost 15lbs, it hasn’t been that difficult, but I will continue to maintain whatever I end up losing, somehow…
8. Fit into my dress from H.S. – See #’s 6 and 7 above, obviously this needs work.
9. Limit my pop intake to 2 per week – I did really well with this for a while and have let is slide again. Back to water!
10. Eat oatmeal for breakfast at least 3 times a week – Again this is something I was really good about for a month or so and totally fell off the wagon on.
11. Do more than 10 pushups – I still don’t know how many I can do, hang on a second….okay, I can do 5, so I’m half-way there!
12. Run a mile – When I used my Wii Fit the other day I ran, not even close to a mile, but it’s a start. Now I just have to keep practicing!
13. Go on 5 bike rides – Okay, so I won’t be pulling my bike out any time soon and I’ve completed zero of the five rides I wanted to. Guess that means I have a few rides ahead of me this summer!
14. Think before I eat – I have been doing a good job of this, mostly because of some health issues I’ve had recently, but it was a jump start in the right direction.
15. Walk through my town – Again, it’s winter and freezing cold, we’ll see if I make it this spring

My Mind:
1. Try to keep a positive attitude -While I’ve done my best to keep a PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) I have my days, but don’t we all?
2. Laugh at least 1 time per day – I laugh a LOT more than I used to and probably more than once a day.
3. Breathe - #1 and #2 have been helping keep this one in check. I’m learning to walk away from something before it gets the best of me and come back with a clearer head.
4. Set aside 15 minutes everyday for myself – When I get home (after taking care of the animals) I have time to myself every day, usually more than 15 minutes.
5. Watch no more than 2hrs of t.v in a day – We no longer have t.v. so I’m marking this one as DONE!
6. Take a class – I haven’t even researched anything about this. I really need to fix that.
7. Research going back to school – If I haven’t researched taking a single class yet, obviously I haven’t researched going to school.
8. Start writing poetry again – 1 poem written, but I really can’t force myself to do this one, it has to be when the mood strikes.
9. Do my Vision Board – Short of making this list I’ve made no progress on my “vision” of where I want to be.
10. Make a Vlog – I actually totally forgot this one was on my list all together….where’s my iSight?
11. Let my husband buy me/pick out an outfit – I won’t be buying new clothes any time soon (see financial stuff below), so this one’s going to have to wait I think.
12. Learn to take a compliment – I’ve become much more gracious when people pay me a compliment. Simply saying thank-you is much easier than assuming they are just being nice.
13. Believe every day that the impossible is possible if you put your mind to it – I still have to repeat this several times.
14. Take more pictures – Still going strong!
15. Finish my art projects – I’ve done a lot and added a lot more, lol. This one is a never ending list I think.
16. Share more on my blog - My blog has been empty of new posts for almost a year, I am clearly currently failing at this one.
17. Kiss my husband goodnight – every night
18. Always say I love you when we part – This is something I’m already in the habit of doing, but I need to remind myself that even if we’re unhappy with one another, I will ALWAYS love him
19. Share some of my poetry - I need to dig those notebooks out and start sharing them with people

Entertainment:
1. Read 12 books - Huh, well…I have started two more books…

  • Mommywood
  • Five Love Languages
  • The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner

2. Get a Library Card – Done!
3. Go on 3 camping trips – Three down!! And we should have one next summer as well.
4. Go to Cedar Point – Hubby and I went for our 1 year Anniversary this year – I want to go again!
5. Meet 1 of my “Twitter Friends” in real life - I’m not sure this will happen, but we’ll see
6. Create my own website for my blog/photos – Obviously the site is up and working, now to just get those pictures linked.
7. Maintain my site – New banner is up, new pages created and blog post (which I need to do more frequently).
8. Watch 1 new movie a month – I’ve made good progress here, there are some that I’m forgetting I’m sure

  • Shop Girl
  • He’s Just Not That Into You
  • Lars and the Real Girl
  • You’ve Got Mail
  • Toy Story 3
  • Marley and Me
  • The Business of Being Born
  • Babies
  • The Time Travelers Wife
  • Shrek 2
  • Shrek The Third
  • Alice In Wonderland

9. Take a road trip – We road tripped to Cedar Point – yay for getting two things done with one trip!
10. Take a vacation with my Brother/Sister(to be) - With a Graduate Program in the works currently, this one will probably have to wait until 2011, but I’m okay with that!
11. Host 3 game nights – Two down, one to go
12. Spend time with my ‘girlfriends” at least every other month – I see some more than others, but I think this is also going pretty well
13. Start saving for a trip to Seattle – nothing saved for a vacation.
14. Spend a long weekend in Michigan - See #13. Maybe we’ll get there….
15. Plan a trip to Canada – My Hubby found a job listing for Vancouver, but that’s the closest we’ve come to making it across the border
16. Get our Passports – I don’t have one and who knows when we’ll decide to fly off somewhere out of the country, lol
17. Visit the Art Museum in Chicago – I’ve lived in the suburbs my entire life and have NEVER been – what is wrong with me?
18. Visit the Shedd Aquarium – On our Anniversary weekend we finished our trip w/a visit to the Shedd!
19. See a play - not sure which one, but it’s something I enjoy doing
20. See a Cubs game - it’s an expensive thing to do and a long day, but there’s nothing like a day at Wrigley Field, especially when they win!
21. See a football game – Not only did I get to go to an NFL football game, I got to see a game I never thought I would. Bears vs. Packers (GO PACK GO) – we also went to a game this year!
22. Attend our local town festival - we were camping last year when it happened, I would still like to get there.

Family:
1. Visit my grandpa/aunt in FL at least once - I don’t see them often at all and I need to make an effort to. My grandma passed away and it had been years since I had seen her.
2. Visit my grandparents in IL at least 4 times - We’ve seen them twice, I really need to be better about this. I don’t know what my problem is!
3. Visit grammy at least 3 times - 2 times so far, but with recent events, I think we may need to bump this up a bit anyway
4. Visit Bob and Pam at least 3 times - 1 time so far, and we’ve seen them more than that, but I still think making a drive to Galena shouldn’t be a problem, tho being invited first would be nice.
5. Visit Mom and Bob at least 3 times – we’ve seen them quite a few times, but there’s no need to call this one done, they’re my hubby’s parents after all.
6. Start our family – I’m calling this in progress because we’ve had many discussions about it and how we want to raise our children which is some progress. Though the “start trying” time has come and gone and been pushed back once…
7. Take more pictures together – As goofy and by hubby thinks I am for wanting to squish ourselves together for picture when we go somewhere, I appreciate that he is playing along….so far.
8. Spend at least 1 night/day with Doug & Heather a month – date nights on Thursdays make this happen and exercise nights on Mondays help too. I have some seriously awesome family!
9. Spend time with Chris at least once a month – There’s an upcoming blog post about this…

Misc.:
1. Finish at least 2 more scrapbooks – Rocky, Leela, Bachelorette Party and Honeymoon – ALL DONE! I still have a lot to do though.
2. Get my paper filing organized – I went on a shredding binge a while back and cleaned out a bunch of it, though it still needs some work
3. Continue to go through my closet/house and donate what we are not using – Car load #3 for the year is heading there tomorrow!
4. Try 10 new foods -I think I’ve far surpassed this now, but I’m still open to new things!
5. Use the fresh herbs I’m growing – Planted them, grew them and ate them! And I’ll be doing it again this year
6. Get Brian to try 3 new foods – 3 of 3 we have success!
7. Own a kitten/cat – I love my little Leela girl! (Not so little anymore, but still adorable)
8. Go on at least 1 date a month with my husband – we’ve started date night in every week and we’ve been pretty darn consistent with it. I think it’s helped us stay more connected as a couple too.
9. Try a new recipe a month - I’m making great strides in this since we are having more home-cooked meals!

  • Brand new Chili recipe 8/25/09 (and it was good!)
  • Chocolate Chip Muffins
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Chicken Cider Stew
  • Cheeseburger Casserole
  • French Bread
  • Ham and Cheese Tarts
  • Fudge
  • Pulled Pork
  • Pot Roast
  • Mini pizzas
  • Cowboy Cookies
  • Brown Sugar ‘lil Smokies
  • Mini Pie Pops
  • Cake Balls
  • Garlic Mashed Potatoes
  • Stuffing
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Turkey (brined and everything!)
  • Mini Macaroni and Cheese Cups

House
1. Paint the remainder of the rooms in the house – one room left that I *need* to paint and the loft/stairway that isn’t a huge deal. I’ve purchased paint for the last room, now we need to apply!

2. Install blinds on the remaining windows - WOOHOO!!!
3. Complete a “built-in” desk in the office for 2 - This is on hold until my pickier hubby and I can decide what we really want and have a budget for it.
4. Install our own fence - I think we’ve agreed to wait until we have little ones running around to worry about this, if it gets done sooner great, if not, oh well.
5. Get paver brick patio installed – Done and done!
6. Grow veggies and eat them – Tomatoes, Beans, Cucumbers and Zucchini all planted only the Zucchini decided not to grow.
7. Purchase a flat screen t.v. – We’ve agreed that until our old t.v. bites the dust we don’t need this, so again, if it happens great, if not, oh well.
8. Visit a farmer’s market – Been a couple times now

9. Create a chore routine – it’s created, but we haven’t really stuck to it. Time to work on that.

10. Plant flowers in my flower beds – All of the beds have plants/flowers in them. We’ll see if they come up in the spring!

11. Meet my neighbors – took them cookies when they moved in!
12. Hang icicle lights on the gutters - Super hubby did it again this year :)
13. Convince Hubby that an outdoor fireplace IS a good idea and then make it happen
14. Get a new patio furniture set – My folks have offered us theirs, since they don’t use it, so it’ll be new to us once we get it.

Finances:
1. Have enough money in the savings account to “live” for 6 months - currently working on this
2. Have enough money to take a vacation - no vacation until #1 is completed.
3. Start our child’s college fund – see #1
4. Payoff all of our credit card debt – It’s a work in progress
6. Start a retirement fund – We both started
7. Payoff Brian’s car – still working on it, if it would quit breaking we could throw more money at paying it off instead of fixing it.
8. Payoff My car – See #7 – his takes priority
9. Set a monthly budget for groceries/entertainment/clothes and STICK TO IT -  Working harder at this
10. Cut coupons and USE them – this is something I did and then stopped and am starting again
11. Sell the rest of my “collectables” on either ebay or craigslist – I have one item left that I’d really like to get rid of
12. Find a way to either increase our income or decrease some of our spending – we are re-evaluating this all the time it’s a constant work in progress
13. Research ways to work from home once we start our family – At this point working from home won’t be an option for me, but I’ve always got my eyes open.

My end date for this project is April 11, 2012. The website if you want to check it out is DayZeroProject.

Something New

You may notice a new section on my site called Oh, Baby! This section is currently under construction and the entire site is going to get a facelift soon. Please stay tuned to see what’s happening!

Impossible Things – Updated!

I owe credit to @canonicalbabble again for making me realize I should probably check back in on this little list. Here’s my updates of what I’ve done so far, what I’m working and what I need to work on.

Bold – Done!

Italic – Working on it

Blue - Uhh, oh yeah that was on my list wasn’t it…
101 Goals in 1001 Days:

My Body:
1. Use my Wii Fit daily – I used it for the first time in 340 days Tuesday, and haven’t used it since then…sigh
2. Take the dog for a walk on nice days – We are currently in freezing temps and snowy weather, if I’m realistic, I’m not walking the dog on a regular basis until Spring.
3. Eat more fruit/veggies – This has been going well for me so far, I’ve been eating more fruits/veggies and ordering more salads if/when we go out places. I’m happy with my progress here
4. Get at least 6 hours of sleep each night – This has also been going fairly well for me. There have only been a handful of days that haven’t yielded 6+hrs of sleep
5. Cook Healthier meals – Thanks to some wonderful online resources (Kitchen Parade and Liz Brooks at Easy Meals Examiner) and my new subscription to Cooking Light I’ve been able to make things at home that are much healthier than we used to eat.
6. Lose as much of the 70lbs I need to as I can – I’ve made no real effort here and I fully admit, if I had to grade myself, I’d get a big fat “F”. I’m only down about 3lbs from where I was when I originally wrote this. Time to step up!
7. Maintain what I lose - Since I’ve only lost 3lbs, it hasn’t been that difficult, but I will continue to maintain whatever I end up losing, somehow…
8. Fit into my dress from H.S. – See #’s 6 and 7 above, obviously this needs work.
9. Limit my pop intake to 2 per week – I did really well with this for a while and have let is slide again. Back to water!
10. Eat oatmeal for breakfast at least 3 times a week – Again this is something I was really good about for a month or so and totally fell off the wagon on.
11. Do more than 10 pushups – I still don’t know how many I can do, hang on a second….okay, I can do 5, so I’m half-way there!
12. Run a mile – When I used my Wii Fit the other day I ran, not even close to a mile, but it’s a start. Now I just have to keep practicing!
13. Go on 5 bike rides – Okay, so I won’t be pulling my bike out any time soon and I’ve completed zero of the five rides I wanted to. Guess that means I have a few rides ahead of me this summer!
14. Think before I eat – I have been doing a good job of this, mostly because of some health issues I’ve had recently, but it was a jump start in the right direction.
15. Walk through my town – Again, it’s winter and freezing cold, we’ll see if I make it this spring

My Mind:
1. Try to keep a positive attitude – 2 months and counting I’ve been  much more positive every day. And you know what, it feels good.
2. Laugh at least 1 time per day – I laugh a LOT more than I used to and probably more than once a day.
3. Breathe – #1 and #2 have been helping keep this one in check.
4. Set aside 15 minutes everyday for myself - When I get home (after taking care of the animals) I have time to myself every day, usually more than 15 minutes.
5. Watch no more than 2hrs of t.v in a day – We were bad for a while and now we’re doing much better. Just last night we played board/card games instead of watching t.v.
6. Take a class – I haven’t even researched anything about this. I really need to fix that.
7. Research going back to school – If I haven’t researched taking a single class yet, obviously I haven’t researched going to school.
8. Start writing poetry again – 1 poem written, but I really can’t force myself to do this one, it has to be when the mood strikes.
9. Do my Vision Board – Short of making this list I’ve made no progress on my “vision” of where I want to be.
10. Make a Vlog – I actually totally forgot this one was on my list all together….where’s my iSight?
11. Let my husband buy me/pick out an outfit - I won’t be buying new clothes any time soon (see financial stuff below), so this one’s going to have to wait I think.
12. Learn to take a compliment – I’ve become much more gracious when people pay me a compliment. Simply saying thank-you is much easier than assuming they are just being nice.
13. Believe every day that the impossible is possible if you put your mind to it – I still have to repeat this several times.
14. Take more pictures – My camera is currently full of pictures I’ve yet to upload, but I have made great strides in this.
15. Finish my art projects – I’ve still got a couple on my list, but I’ve also checked a few off!
16. Share more on my blog – Since I haven’t been very good about blogging at all, this is very lacking.
17. Kiss my husband goodnight – every night
18. Always say I love you when we part – This is something I’m already in the habit of doing, but I need to remind myself that even if we’re unhappy with one another, I will ALWAYS love him
19. Share some of my poetry – I need to dig those notebooks out and start sharing them with people

Entertainment:
1. Read 12 books – Only 2 done, but I think now that the Holidays are over I can start up in full swing again!

  • Mommywood
  • Five Love Languages

2. Get a Library Card – This will aid me in the above
3. Go on 3 camping trips – Three down!! And we have another one planned for this summer!
4. Go to Cedar Point – Hubby and I went for our 1 year Anniversary this year – I want to go again!
5. Meet 1 of my “Twitter Friends” in real life – If Ms. @JellieBraden makes her way to IL this will be done at the end of the month!
6. Create my own website for my blog/photos – Obviously the site is up and working, now to just get those pictures linked.
7. Maintain my site – New banner is up, new pages created and blog post (which I need to do more frequently).
8. Watch 1 new movie a month – I started out strong and then fell flat – time to start again!

  • Shop Girl
  • He’s Just Not That Into You
  • Lars and the Real Girl
  • You’ve Got Mail

9. Take a road trip – We road tripped to Cedar Point – yay for getting two things done with one trip!
10. Take a vacation with my Brother/Sister(to be) – With a Graduate Program in the works currently, this one will probably have to wait until 2011, but I’m okay with that!
11. Host 3 game nights – One down, two to go!
12. Spend time with my ‘girlfriends” at least every other month – I see some more than others, but I think this is also going pretty well
13. Start saving for a trip to Seattle – nothing saved for a vacation.
14. Spend a long weekend in Michigan – See #13. Maybe we’ll get there….
15. Plan a trip to Canada – My Hubby found a job listing for Vancouver, but that’s the closest we’ve come to making it across the border
16. Get our Passports – I don’t have one and who knows when we’ll decide to fly off somewhere out of the country, lol
17. Visit the Art Museum in Chicago – I’ve lived in the suburbs my entire life and have NEVER been – what is wrong with me?
18. Visit the Shedd Aquarium – On our Anniversary weekend we finished our trip w/a visit to the Shedd!
19. See a play – not sure which one, but it’s something I enjoy doing
20. See a Cubs game – it’s an expensive thing to do and a long day, but there’s nothing like a day at Wrigley Field, especially when they win!
21. See a football game – Not only did I get to go to an NFL football game, I got to see a game I never thought I would. Bears vs. Packers (GO PACK GO)
22. Attend our local town festival – we were camping last year when it happened, I would still like to get there.

Family:
1. Visit my grandpa/aunt in FL at least once – I don’t see them often at all and I need to make an effort to. My grandma passed away and it had been years since I had seen her.
2. Visit my grandparents in IL at least 4 times – We’ve seen them once since I posted this in July….unacceptable!
3. Visit grammy at least 3 times – 2 times so far, but with recent events, I think we may need to bump this up a bit anyway
4. Visit Bob and Pam at least 3 times – 1 time so far, and we’ve seen them more than that, but I still think making a drive to Galena shouldn’t be a problem, tho being invited first would be nice.
5. Visit Mom and Bob at least 3 times – we’ve seen them quite a few times, but there’s no need to call this one done, they’re my hubby’s parents after all.
6. Start our family – I’m calling this in progress because we’ve had many discussions about it, have a tentative “start trying” time and are discussing options regarding birth/raising our future children
7. Take more pictures together – As goofy and by hubby thinks I am for wanting to squish ourselves together for picture when we go somewhere, I appreciate that he is playing along….so far.
8. Spend at least 1 night/day with Doug & Heather a month – it actually feels almost too long if we only see them once a month.
9. Spend time with Chris at least once a month – Now that B works with him and he’s gaming with us, this happens regularly.

Misc.:
1. Finish at least 2 more scrapbooks – Rocky, Leela, Bachelorette Party and Honeymoon – ALL DONE! I still have a lot to do though.
2. Get my paper filing organized – I went on a shredding binge a while back and cleaned out a bunch of it, though it still needs some work
3. Continue to go through my closet/house and donate what we are not using – I’ve got a trunk full of stuff on its way to GoodWill
4. Try 10 new foods -3 of 10 so far.
5. Use the fresh herbs I’m growing – Planted them, grew them and ate them! And I’ll be doing it again this year
6. Get Brian to try 3 new foods – 2 of 3 so far, that’s BIG progress for him!
7. Own a kitten/cat - I love my little Leela girl!
8. Go on at least 1 date a month with my husband – we’ve started date night in every week and we’ve been pretty darn consistent with it. I think it’s helped us stay more connected as a couple too.
9. Try a new recipe a month – I’m making great strides in this since we are having more home-cooked meals!

  • Brand new Chili recipe 8/25/09 (and it was good!)
  • Chocolate Chip Muffins
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Chicken Cider Stew
  • Cheeseburger Casserole
  • French Bread
  • Ham and Cheese Tarts
  • Fudge
  • Pulled Pork
  • Pot Roast

House
1. Paint the remainder of the rooms in the house – two rooms left that I *need* to paint and the loft/stairway that isn’t a huge deal. I’ve got colors picked out for everything, so it’ll just be buying the paint and applying it!

2. Install blinds on the remaining windows – 2 rooms done  so far
3. Complete a “built-in” desk in the office for 2 – This is on hold until my pickier hubby and I can decide what we really want and have a budget for it.
4. Install our own fence – I think we’ve agreed to wait until we have little ones running around to worry about this, if it gets done sooner great, if not, oh well.
5. Get paver brick patio installed – that’s the plan for this spring!
6. Grow veggies and eat them – I ended up with tomatoes this year and I ate them!
7. Purchase a flat screen t.v. – We’ve agreed that until our old t.v. bites the dust we don’t need this, so again, if it happens great, if not, oh well.
8. Visit a farmer’s market – visited the local one with my awesome sister-in-law (to be). Can’t wait to go again this year.

9. Create a chore routine – it’s created, but we haven’t really stuck to it. Time to work on that.

    10. Plant flowers in my flower beds – All of the beds have plants/flowers in them. We’ll see if they come up in the spring!

      11. Meet my neighbors – took them cookies when they moved in!
      12. Hang icicle lights on the gutters – my Hubby was nice enough to humor me this year and got them all put up for me.
      13. Convince Hubby that an outdoor fireplace IS a good idea and then make it happen
      14. Get a new patio furniture set – I think a paint job on our old set is about all the progress we’ll be making toward a new one this year

      Finances:
      1. Have enough money in the savings account to “live” for 6 months – currently working on this
      2. Have enough money to take a vacation – no vacation until #1 is completed.
      3. Start our child’s college fund – see #1
      4. Payoff all of our credit card debt – We started to tackle this and then let it slide, time to get serious!
      6. Start a retirement fund – We are both currently participating in our employers retirement plans
      7. Payoff Brian’s car – we’re making progress monthly, though I’m not sure it’ll be done by the time this is supposed to be.
      8. Payoff My car – See #8
      9. Set a monthly budget for groceries/entertainment/clothes and STICK TO IT -  Currently failing at this!
      10. Cut coupons and USE them – this is something I did and then stopped and am starting again
      11. Sell the rest of my “collectables” on either ebay or craigslist – I have one item left that I’d really like to get rid of
      12. Find a way to either increase our income or decrease some of our spending - we are re-evaluating this all the time it’s a constant work in progress
      13. Research ways to work from home once we start our family – At this point working from home won’t be an option for me, but I’ve always got my eyes open.

      There’s a lot more blue on this list than I wanted to see, but the only thing that’s going to change it is to start being more serious about it.

      My end date for this project is April 11, 2012. The website if you want to check it out is DayZeroProject.

      Take the Turkey out of the Oven!

      thanksgiving dinnerLiz Brooks (Easy Meals Examiner) a.k.a. @beefamily on Twitter, is giving away a Ginny’s electric roaster to one lucky winner! I’ve used one before and have to tell you, it’s a HUGE oven space saver. If you’re wondering how you’ll fit the turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes and rolls in your oven so they are all ready at the same time, this is a great help! It takes the turkey out of the oven and leaves you the space you’ll need for the rest of the Thanksgiving fixings. It’s also great for hams, chickens and keeping Italian beef for a large crowd warm (trust me on that one!).

      Liz also shares wonderful recipes for quick and easy meals. You HAVE to try her Macaroni and Cheese recipe, you’ll never buy boxed again (and the leftovers reheat wonderfully). If you are the kind of person who likes to see pictures of the steps along the way in the meal making process, she’s got it covered. Liz shows tutorial pictures with each recipe and, for people like me, it’s an excellent way to check your progress and make sure it looks like it should :).

      I’m hoping to be lucky enough to win the roaster, especially so I can try out her turkey recipe, but I also want all of you to give her recipes a try and SPREAD THE WORD!!! If you try one out, post a comment here and let me know what you think, but also make sure to let Liz know!

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/lockergnome/ / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

      The trouble with technologically dependent society…

      Addi

      I was having a conversation with a friend the other day and she said something that’s been on my mind ever since. We were talking about babies and how the birthing process has changed over the years. She used to work in a hospital in Holland and was telling me how they never used pain medication, it wasn’t even offered to patients when she worked there and they only did surgery when it was a life/death situation.

      I was recently upset to learn that my new doctor, who I started going to specifically BECAUSE of her delivery method, is no longer going to be delivering babies. She was the last one in our area that believed in Natural Child Birth. Something that is important to me. I was informed by her office that, if I wanted to stay local, my only option now would be to have a midwife deliver at home. While I’m not totally opposed to that, since we live 10 minutes from the closest hospital, I was (am) still upset that she won’t be doing the delivery.

      As I thought about this, I pulled more piece together. Four people I know were all pregnant and due relatively close to each other. The first, was going to have a natural childbirth, but I later found out ended up having a c-section due to complications. The next, ended up having a c-section. Then 2 more, within days of each other, 20 hours into labor, ended up having c-sections. Does anyone manage a natural labor anymore? Or do you get to a certain point in the delivery process and the doctors just make the call for you?

      Being so pro-natural birth, I’m really bothered and actually worried about having a child. Since I will be new to this, when we eventually get pregnant, I’m nervous that I won’t have a choice about the birthing experience. I don’t want an epidural, I don’t want to be in labor and have someone tell me my time’s up (unless there’s a problem that requires medical intervention), I want to make the choices that feel right for me, my baby and my body. Do we rely too much on technology? Have we reached a point where we can’t even birth our own children anymore?

      As He Dreams

      As he dreams here beside me, I fall in love again.
      As his gentle breaths remind me, of where it all began.
      My lover sleeps beside me, my confidant, my friend.
      My soul mate lays beside me, and I hope this never ends.

      10 Honest Things

      I was tagged (over a month ago) by @NikolSpencer to do my 10 Honest Things. This is a tough one for me, I’m trying not to pick really obvious things that everyone who knows me will already know. Anyway, here goes…

      honest-scrap1

      The Honest Scrap award is given by other bloggers who consider a blog’s content or design to be brilliant. The awardee must then post ten honest things about themselves and pass the award on to other bloggers who fit the bill – in other words, someone brilliant.

      1. I regret on a regular basis, not going away to college after graduating. I had intentions of doing it, I was going to work for a year and save up some money and then go to school. I’ve been working full time for 9 years now and never followed through on going to school.

      2. I am a romantic soul – I hide behind other things a lot of the time, but deep down runs a romantic chord. I love poetry, sunsets, holding hands, kisses on the forehead and when my husband calls me “Darling”.

      3. I believe in love at first sight. Even if you don’t realize that’s what it is. It took me 7 years to realize I was in love, but there was a sign from day one.

      4. A log cabin home is my dream. Log cabin on the outside, more modern on the inside, overlooking a lake and secluded for miles from everyone. Someday we’ll build it and we’ll live there, I believe it’s true. Of course we’ll have internet and t.v., but the scenery will be breathtaking.

      5. There is a wanna be photographer living inside of me. When I’m behind my point & shoot I’m happy and feel more artistic than I probably am, but I’m okay with that.

      6. I sing at the top of my lungs when I drive in my car, sit at my desk at home or take a shower (my hubby is the only audience I ever have). I don’t care if I sound good or not, it’s a release for me and when I’m stressed it helps calm me, especially country music. A life without music is not one for me.

      7. I was teased mercilessly in grade school, middle school and my Freshman year of High School. I developed before other girls and was heavier than almost everyone in my classes.  I still deal daily with my self consciousness and struggle when I look in the mirror. It’s something that will probably haunt me forever.

      8. My ex cheated on me 6 months after we started dating and I found out from a girl who didn’t even like me who saw it happen. We dated for 4 1/2 years and I never forgave him for it, part of me believes to this day that it had a large hand in the demise of our relationship. I should have walked away and known better.

      9. I’ve had names picked out for my children since I was 18. I feel like I’ve always had that motherly instinct and can not wait for the day I get to have a pregnant belly, give birth and hold my own child in my arms.

      10. I’ve wanted to be a journalist, interior designer, photographer, grade school teacher and chef. I’m none of these things and now I have no idea what I want to be.

      I’m sure most everyone I follow has already done their 10 Honest Things, but I’m giving a shout out to @Fleurdeleigh, @RiaSharon, @ZenMommy, @MissIve and @CanonicalBabble. If you read this and haven’t done one yet, please do (and let me know), I’m interested in getting to know all of you a little better.

      Updated to add link to @NikolSpencer’s 10 Honest Things.

      Love at First Sight

      Someone has asked for my “love story” with my hubby, so here it is. It’s a long one, and I’m going to have to break it into parts so as to not overwhelm my readers.

      JB_Great_America001Love At First Sight

      I call it that, but neither of us knew that’s what it was. I met Brian in a hallway of our High School. We were introduced to each other by my boyfriend at the time, who also happened to be one of Brian’s best friends. There was something about Brian from the very beginning that had my attention, though I was already in a serious relationship at the time. We became fast friends and I was gladly accepted to the “group”. I got to hang out with him almost every day after school and during my Junior year (his Senior year) we had classes that were right next to each other, so we chatted in the halls frequently and even ended up on our Great America Field Trip together. Again, this was a totally platonic friendship we had, both of us were ignoring what other people thought was an obvious connection, but we were happily just hanging out.

      During my last semester as a Junior I received 3 letters from Brian. As a close, close friend he was starting to notice that my boyfriend was treating me less than kindly and he had a growing issue with it. I was “happy” so I pushed it off. In the last of the three letters Brian admitted that he loved me in that way. I didn’t know what to say, I was in love with my boyfriend, how could Brian love me? It did not change our relationship though, I knew I still wanted to retain our friendship, so I never mentioned it to him.

      A few months later Brian went off to college and though he was 3 hours away and I was in my Senior year of High School, I never stopped thinking of him. I only got to talk to him for 30 minutes every other month or so when I remembered to call him and I truly missed the friendship we had built. He came home for the summer and we saw each other a few times, but he had made new college friends that I didn’t know and our relationship was fading.

      When he went back to school his 2nd year, we spoke even less and I had let my relationship with my boyfriend consume all of my time. The time between then and when he came home sick is a blur. I don’t remember anything from that gap about him and I. The clearest memory I have is when I found out he was home for an extended period of time his 3rd year into college. He had come home because he was really ill and was undergoing all sorts of tests to try and find a cause. I didn’t start spending any significant time with him until he was in the middle of his “recovery”. My boyfriend and I were drifting and I was finally starting to see what Brian had said in those letters 2 years earlier. Why it had taken me so long to see the abuse, well it’s the stereo-typical answer. I was only getting what I deserved and love is blind, so, so blind.

      The more time I spent with Brian the more our friendship started to come back, much the chagrin of my boyfriend who was no longer speaking to Brian. It was just like old times with him and it was so comfortable. The more time I spent with him, the more I began to realize what my heart had felt all along.

      One night as I was dropping Brian off at home, we were chatting in my car in his driveway. We were laughing about something or another and I was teasing him that I should just kiss him to see what he would do. He laughed and I did it. I hadn’t felt so many butterflies in my stomach in over 4 years (the time I’d been dating the other guy). I knew I shouldn’t have done it, but I am so glad I did.

      Still being in a relationship I wasn’t happy with, I decided I needed to end it. We were moving in two very opposite directions and I wasn’t being treated like I deserved to be. Leaving him, though, would prove to be one of the most difficult things I’ve had to do (more on that in a separate post).

      The night before I actually broke up with him, we had a huge fight and I ended up crying on the shoulder of Brian. He was always there for me, as ridiculous as half the stuff I went through was, he never judged me, just always consoled me. That night, we made love for the first time and it was the most wonderful thing. I know that means that I cheated on my boyfriend, but in my mind, my relationship with him was over months before that. That doesn’t make it right and I won’t forgive myself for not having a little more restraint.

      The next part of the story is to be continued in another post…