Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My Halloween Pumpkin Project

Originally I saw this cute pumpkin on Pinterest and pinned it to my Halloween board.  Later, I was on the Better Homes & Gardens website and saw it again (

However, this appears to be on a real pumpkin...and I really feel like if I'm going to put that much effort towards something, I need to invest a little into a craft pumpkin.

I didn't want to invest TOO much, though.  The craft pumpkins at Hobby Lobby were upwards of $35. Even at 40% off, that's a little much for me.

Luckily, I had seen a craft pumpkin at Target that was $, yes, I went with the cheaper pumpkin! :)

My next set back was finding black buttons.  Where do you buy large quantities of single color, yet various sizes/styles of buttons?  I came up with nothing.

And then, I went to Mom...who I think has everything craftily necessary...and who also told me I could SPRAY PAINT the buttons black! Truly, she has several old tins full of buttons, all shapes, all sizes, all colors! SCORE!

This is how I crafted my Halloween pumpkin:

1.  Spray paint buttons black - I just used the $.96 spray paint from Wal-Mart.  I got the glossy paint, because I wanted my buttons to have a little shine.  Also...just to let you know...buttons are light...and tend to move around when you spray them.  I have no tips on keeping them still...but I thought you should know.

2.  Print out your letters and cut them out - I think my font size was 350 and I just used Times New Roman. I wanted the serifs on the "B" this worked for me. Also...a tip...print these on card stock if possible. I printed one "O" on cardstock accidently (because that's what Mom had left in her printer) but used regular paper for the "B"...the "O" was much easier to trace around...which brings me to:

3.  Position your letters on the pumpkin, using a small piece of scotch tape to keep them in place and trace around using a pencil.

4.  Using your buttons, fill in the letters using hot glue.**

5.  Paint the stem black and tie a pretty black ribbon around the stem.

And you are done! :)

My total cost in this project:

Pumpkin - $12
Buttons - Free
Spray Paint - $1
Black paint for stem - already had on hand
Ribbon - $2
Hot glue - already had on hand

That's a grand total of $15.

I couldn't be happier with the outcome! :)

Happy Halloween!

**OK - I wrote these instructions BEFORE I was actually finished...and I would NOT use hot glue again. You can, but it leaves strings of glue and, what's even worse, the hot glue oozes out of the button holes when you are pressing them on to the pumpkin. can use hot glue...but I think a good strong craft glue would work better. :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Catching Up...again

It's been more than three months since I updated my blog...and not because I didn't want to.  Trust me - there have been several days that I thought "I really need to update my blog".  But there has been no time.  My job is crazy busy these computer is still in a million pieces...and even if it weren't, by the time I get home I just want to do nothing.  Things have smoothed out this week...but I'm just waiting for the next wave to hit. About the time I think that all is calm & smooth, that's when I get lulled into feeling as if things are finally caught up and even and I won't be stressed anymore...

and then we go again.

So, what have I been up to since my last blog post (which was a scheduled post for July 4th)?

Other than running around like a chicken with my head cut off...I:

 - Went to Florida on a mission trip with our student ministry the last week of July. We had an AWESOME time working with the Orlando Rescue Mission and getting to know the kids that live there. This is our second time there and, as I was last year, I was truly humbled and thankful for the life that God has blessed me with. The children that are living there have come from homes and situations that I can not even imagine and in this place they have found happiness and safety for a moment. It is truly a blessing to be a small part of their lives for this week.

 - Went to the beach with my family in August. When I got back from Florida (without Dylan - left him behind with his Dad & other Orlando family), my mom told me she & my Dad had decided to go to Emerald Isle for vacation. I told her that I would be tagging along (joking) and her reply was that she hoped Dylan & I would. I don't need much more of an invitation than that! So, we went down halfway through their sister, brother-in-law, niece & nephew also came down...and we had three great days of beach vacation with the family!

 - Went to Fort Caswell with Ashley & Zac in September. Zac's birthday is September 10th and we all grew up going to Fort Caswell for summer camp. Caswell is such a special place - full of great memories. Zac started going down for his birthday a few years ago...a couple of years ago, they invited Dylan & I to go along...and then again this year. Another great beach trip.

And I think that catches me up with where I am now. No big trips or plans from here forward...which is probably a good thing because I'm not sure how much more my checking account can take!

I would love to tell you that I'm going to start blogging daily, weekly or even monthly...but at this point in my life I just don't know.  For those of you who catch my quarterly posts, thank you.  Thanks for hanging in there and making sure I'm still alive!

Hope to see you soon...Jenn

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

I'm so thankful for all of the freedoms that we as Americans have.  I'm thankful today for the men & women who put their lives on the line for this freedom.  I'm equally thankful for the family members that sacrifice time with their loved ones as they maintain and fight for our freedom. 

Hope you have a fun & safe 4th!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 6

What is your dream job & why?

Well...I would really, really, really love to be a stay at home mom.  This hits me HARD around Christmas and during the summer.  Especially when we start in with VBS and my child wanting to go here and there and everywhere.  I like my current job...really I do...but sometimes I have so much non job related stuff going on, trying to cram all that in with a 40hr per week job is tough.

But such is life.

I also think it would be fun to be a preschool teacher.  I enjoy working with kids.  So, if I couldn't be a SAHM and I had to have some little job, then preschool teacher it would be.

Happy Tuesday! :)

Friday, June 29, 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 6

HAHAHAHA!  I know what y'all are thinking...30 Day Blog Challenge? 

It's Ok...we all should've known that a 30 day blogging challenge for me would actually take about 45-60 days. 

BUT, I'm determined not to quit!  So, you will at least get 30 blog posts.

Sorry for the delay...soon after the last post, my work exploded...this week both of my bosses are on I've been able to get caught up.  Being busy at work is good...being so busy that I can barely breathe is not good.

Day 6 - What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?

I thought this was actually Day 5's topic...and I already had this post written in my head two weeks here goes.

The day before it had stormed...nothing horrific...just a regular, ordinary summer storm...lightning, thunder, rain.  I woke up the next morning and just marveled about how beautiful the morning was.  The sun was out...the birds were chirping...everything looked clean and bright.

And that's what I feel about the hardest things I've experienced.

I could make a list of them right here...but in my mind, the hardest things that I've experienced have been some of the greatest joys...once the storm passed.  Maybe I'm avoiding the topic, but really and truly I don't want to relive real life or here in this blog.

I want to focus on the beauty after the storm...the warm sunshine...the beautiful everything looked clean and bright.

Focusing and reliving the hardest things in our lives will only continue to bring us sorrow, grief, pain...but when we focus on the morning after the storm, we can find the joy that comes after the sorrow.

I'm always thankful for the sunshine after the storm.

Have a great weekend, my friends!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Just a moment...

I just tucked in my almost 16 year old son. We were watching TV & he just conked out on the couch. As I was pulling a blanket up over his shoulders, I went back in time...and all of the sudden he wasn't almost 16...he was almost 6...and I was sneaking back in his room after he was asleep to check on him. Or for one brief moment I was standing by his crib...watching his even breathing and marveling at the thought that this was my kid. As crazy as it is most days to think that I have an almost 16 year old kid...I am often more amazed & humbled that God chose me to be his Mom.

Tonight I was given a rare watch my son sleep for just a moment. Thank you Lord for blessing me with this child & with this simple moment.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 5

What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?

I have a lot of things that make me happy in my life...but these are the five I choose for this blog post. :)

1. Watching the little birds that have hatched in my hanging basket grow. They have grown so fast and I know it's just a matter of time before they move on and leave the nest. I have so loved watching them go from egg to hatchlings to quickly growing birds.

2. Dylan went "antique-ing" yesterday and bought this clock...he claims that its for my birthday...I'm not so sure about that. But I do love the clock. :)

And's hanging in my kitchen. I think I love the fact that it buzzes from the electricity running through the lights most of all.

3. Getting e-mails from my BFF that have things like this in them...

Because that it is really us! ;)

4. Summer - I don't think this needs any explanation.

5. All of my kiddos - Dylan, Alyson & Ayden (I claim the niece & nephew as mine as often as I can)...even when Ayden doesn't want to be my friend...but is happy to go on and on about his truck and how he wants to "hook something on it".  Even when they are being the worst versions of their little selves (well, big self when you are talking about Dylan!), they always make me happy! :)

Happy Thursday...hold on, friends...weekend's almost here!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 4

Yesterday, there was just not any extra time for blogging...and my laptop is still in a thousand it just didn't happen. 

Today I'm listing 10 things I would tell my 16-year old self, if I could.

1. Mailboxes are often way closer to your bumper than you think.

2. Stick to your beliefs and morals - no matter what. Don't let anyone sway you from what you believe in.

3. When you do stray away from what you believe in, it's OK...God has a plan for it all.

4. Credit cards are really not a good idea.

5. Your best friend now will not be your best friend later...but God has already introduced you to your best friend later...and she's awesomer.

6. Some life experiences are not going to be be honest, they are gonna be really hard. But when it's all said and done, life is good.

7. If you ever go looking for your heart's desire, don't look any further than your own backyard.

OK - maybe I stole that one from Dorothy...

8. You really will like your sister one day.

9. You are way stronger and way smarter than you give yourself credit for being.

10. Really & seriously...don't slack off in your senior year.  I mean, you will do OK...but you can do better.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 3

Describe your relationship with your parents.

I feel like I have a really good relationship with my parents...especially considering I lived with them until just four years ago!  That's not to say that I don't get aggravated with them...but it's just little stuff - nothing major.  I'm thankful to have great parents that have been great role models and have been so good to me & Dylan!


Saturday, June 9, 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 2

Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.

I can't say that I have a lot of fears.  That's not to say that I'm overly brave or courageous...or even "fearless".  But I honestly can't think of one single thing that keeps me from doing something else. That being said...these are three fears that I have...

#1 - Falling down the steps at work - our office has a basement with additional offices that is accessed by a stair case they added on when they finished the basement.  The stairs are VERY steep and I have this fear that I am one day going to fall down them. Knowing that the basement floor is a concrete slab doesn't help at all.

#2 - I am scared of the dark - for real.  I don't know why I am, but I've never been a fan of the dark.  I try not to go outside of my house at night, unless it's to my car under the carport with the light on.  You never know what's lurking out there.

#3 - Spiders, snakes, mice, rodents of any kind - I don't mind seeing these things, behind glass or from afar...but I don't want to see them in my house or around my house.  We had our first snake (that I'm aware of) this year...I had to have Dylan kill it...although everyone told me I should've left him because it was a black snake and black snakes eat mice & rats.  All I could think about was the little baby bunnies that had been hanging out in my flower bed, as well as the baby birds ready to hatch any day.

Friday, June 8, 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 1

I have decided to join in on a 30 Day Blog Challenge that my friend Rachel is doing on her blog! She's a few days ahead of me...but I wasn't able to start when she did!  I'm hoping this will get me back in the blogging world! :)

20 Random Facts about me...this is a toughie...because I put random stuff about me on here all the time. But I'll try! :)

1. My first plane ride ever was from Greensboro NC to Winston-Salem NC. If you know anything about NC at all, it only takes 20-30 minutes to DRIVE from Greensboro to Winston-Salem...and I do believe the flight was about the same time! I did this through Girl Scouts and it was BIG deal back then!

2. I went to California when I was 9. California is the only West Coast state I have ever visited.

3. I have been to the Louisville Slugger bat factory...TWICE.  Ironically, it's no longer based in Lousiville, KY...but is actually in Indiana...just over the bridge from Louisville. The best part? They send you home with a miniature wooden Louisville Slugger bat. Of course, that was years ago (I was in high school) not sure if they still do that or not.

4. My first friend was a girl named Amy who lived across the street. I was so sad the year that she moved away and always wondered what happened to her. Last year, we had both joined a prayer chain/group on Facebook and she sent me a message! I was so excited to hear from her!

5. I do not like milk. I will drink chocolate milk, but that is all. Regular milk just seems gross to me.

6. I can still remember going to see my sister in the hospital when she was born. I don't remember it exactly, but pieces and parts. That was over 30 years ago!

7. My kindergarten teacher was named Mrs. Nutt and her assistant was Mr. Baldwin.

8. I had to get stitches in my upper lip when I was about three years old. I rolled off the couch into a coffee table & split my lip. I still have a small scar where it happend.

9. I don't remember how old I was, but I cracked the bone around my eye once...from jumping on the bed! It really is dangerous!! For many years, I could feel the crack...but now it appears to have fused itself back together.

10. My first broken bone (other than my eye) was my arm...when I was 31. I tripped over a curb going into a pizza place and landed on my palms. When I did that, I cracked the tip of the bone that allows you to twist your arm (the radius?). Fortunately, this is a quick heal; although I still have some trouble with it from time to time.

11. When I was younger, I had a recurring nightmare that the Wicked Witch from The Wizard of Oz kidnapped me.

12. I really wanted to learn how to play the violin when I was younger. Just recently, Alyson said that SHE wanted to learn to play the violin! :)

13. If & when Dylan & I ever get a dog, we are naming him/her "Muddy".  Muddy was the name of one of Dylan's imaginary friends when he was little...and Muddy was always getting into trouble.  Not as much as his best imaginary friend, Chuck...but Muddy was a trouble maker. I even blamed something on Muddy once!

14. I always wanted blue eyes...although I am quite content with my brown ones for now.

15. My favorite book series of all time is Anne of Green Gables. I have read the entire series multiple times.

16. My grandfather was a POW during World War II for 44 days; however, he wasn't "officially" recognized until I was a teenager. He also earned a Purple Heart. His leg was permanenty damaged by shrapnel and he wore a specially made shoe with a lift that the VA provided him.

17. My first car was a Buick Skyhawk...which my sister totalled when she was 16.

18. I have hit at least 3 mailboxes in my driving experience...possibly 4.  I just can't remember exactly how many. Mostly I backed into them. I now have a phobia towards backing into mailboxes.

19. I love Scooby Doo.

20. I think Kevin Bacon is ugly.

OK - that was 20 random would not believe how long it took for me to come up with that list! I hope that the next 29 days are a little easier! ;)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Catching up...

How bad is it that I couldn't remember the last thing I posted on my blog???  I had to go read it...and realized that I closed it out with "Hope you have a wonder Wednesday"...not wonderFUL...just wonder.


Anyway...I would love to tell you that I've just been so busy that I haven't had time to blog, but that's not quite the truth.  Other than this past weekend, I've really done NOTHING over the past few weeks.  Although, to be fair, I can only blog at work...since my computer currently looks like this:

Our power connector broke (literally) it seemed cheaper to just replace the part.  And it is...except that you have to take the entire thing apart to switch it out! I'm hoping to get this resolved quickly!

Anywho...I finally have my flower beds complete and I am loving how they turned out!  All of the hosta in the big flower bed I already had...we just spread it out...and I sent some home with my mom...and I'll probably have to split them again next year!  They are HUGE!

We also have found some sweet baby bunnies in our flower bed that liked to hid under the hosta...but we haven't seen them over the last week or so! I choose to believe they have relocated themselves!  As you can see though, they are very friendly...or just too scared of the big kid trying to pet them!

And...we have a next of baby birds in one of the hanging baskets on my porch!

This pic only shows two of them hatched...but I believe now they all have hatched! It's kind of hard to tell...there's a lot of pink fuzziness in that nest! :)

This past weekend, we had the opportunity to go to the beach.  A few weeks ago I had noticed an opening in my schedule (which is rare during the summer!) and I planned us a short get away!  Plus, Dylan was exempt from his we didn't have to come home until Monday!

We went to the aquarium in Pine Knoll Shores, which is teeny tiny, but we had fun!

This is a pic as we are going from Emerald Isle back to the "mainland"...the intercoastal waterway...

On Sunday, we went to Hammocks Beach...which is a state park on Bear Island.  It is undeveloped and only accessible by boat or ferry.  It was an ABSOLUTELY gorgeous day and I love that not many people go out to Hammocks Beach!  There were a few other people out there with us, but we had a good bit of space just for us!

All in all, it was a good break...a good getaway...we laughed a lot, got some sun and I read a lot on my new Nook...which I am in love with! :)

Tomorrow, I am going to begin a 30 Day Blog Challenge that my friend Rachel is doing over on her blog.  So...*fingers crossed* will be seeing a lot of me here on the blog over the next month!  I know you can not contain your excitement! ;)

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What I'm Loving Today

I'm loving...

Today's weather.  Finally some sun!  Monday was a monsoon...seriously.  They were calling for 2" of rain between 7am and noon...and I'm pretty sure we got it.  Add in the additional rain & storms that we got on Monday afternoon and during the night last night, and we are under flood warnings.  But no fears for me...I don't live anywhere near the Yadkin River...which I've heard is already above flood stages.  Yikes!

I'm loving...

When I went to the doctor a few weeks ago, they determined that I have a Vitamin D & B-12 deficiency.  So for 3 months I'm on a Vitamin D supplement and I get to go weekly for B-12 injections...which are not exactly pleasant.  They don't have the 1-2 day pain factor of a tetanus...but they leave a little pain in the arm where they do the injection.  But let me tell's totally worth it.  I didn't realize how drained I was until I felt better.  I've had SO much more energy over the last few days (after my third injection last Friday).  I can't believe this is making THAT much difference.  I'm so thankful!

I'm loving...

That I met one of my other 2012 goals...for now.  I have more than $500 in my savings account!  I finally got my escrow disbursement over the weekend and put the majority of it in my savings account.  According to my "plan", I hope to be able to save at least another $500 by the end of summer and maybe, just maybe, I'll get new living room furniture in the fall.  Or maybe not.  We shall see! :)

I'm loving...

That by this time next week, I should *hopefully* be able to add my new Nook Color to this list!  I've been considering this and I'm hoping to get mine this weekend!  I'm so excited!

I'm loving...

My latest "Pinterest" inspired project, which I finished Saturday afternoon.  Unfortuntely, I took them to Mom's to show them to her on Sunday evening...which is when the monsoon initially started...and I left them there...and forgot to get them!  Hope she doesn't assume ownership! ;)

Hope you all have a wonder Wednesday! :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

{Almost} Wordless Wednesday

Recently Alyson & Ayden got a new dog...well so did Missy & Zach ;)

His name is Oscar.

I think these two are sizing each other up...


Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I Kick My Shoes Off...and a few other random facts about me

I have noticed here recently that I have developed some peculiarities...habits...neurosis if you will.  And so, today, and today only...I am going to share a few of them with you.

OK - who am I kidding?  I'm likely to share them with you any old day...just try having a conversation with me about where I have to sit at the table...

#1 - Speaking of where I have to sit at the table...I have developed a preference (I like this choice of word) for where I would like to sit.  Part of this is because I'm left handed.  You right handed people don't know why this is such a big deal...because let's face it...the majority of people ARE right handed.  So there is no real thought that you have to put into where you choose to sit since the likelihood of you bumping elbows with someone during the entire meal is not very great.  I, on the otherhand, constantly find myself thinking about where I can sit where I will have the freedom to eat and not constantly be hitting someone with my arm or elbow.  This...

is where I like to sit. 

At every table...

In every restaurant...

And at church.

I have witnesses that can verify this "preference".

#2 - I do not like shoes. At all. I prefer to wear sandals or flip flops that can easily come that when I'm sitting down I can slip them off.

Currently, I'm sitting here at my shoes...they are under my desk and if I have to walk around, then I'll put them back on.  Otherwise, no shoes.

#3 - I DO NOT eat meat that is touching a bone.  That's right folks.  I understand that at some point or another most of the meat I eat was touching a bone.  I just don't want the bone to still be there when I go to eat it.

OK - that's all I can think of right now.  I'm sure if I gave anyone I know 5 minutes here on the blog, they'd provide a few other of my "preferences"...but alas, I don't give them my password for a reason.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

That time I got a tattoo...but I was on a blogging break; so you don't know about it

Let me back up about 14 years or so ago...

When my sister went to college...her first independent "I'm 18 and can do what I want" decision was to get a tattoo.

My mother was less than thrilled about it.  My sister didn't try to hide the tattoo or didn't even keep it from them...but nonetheless, I know my mother was not happy.  Not sure about dad...he probably was in the same camp, though.

Since then, she has added 2 more to her "collection", if you will - one that she & her hubby got together and her kids' initials on her foot.

I'm not sure when my personal desire to get a tattoo kicked in...but I would have to say that it may have started back when I was in grade school...when I went to a certain camp...a church camp no less...and learned this song:

I've got a daisy on my toe
It is not real, it does not grow
It's just a tattoo of a flower
So I look good taking a shower
It's on the second toe of my left foot
It has no stem, it has no root {cause that wouldn't look good}
I've got a daisy on my toe
My right foot loves my left foot so {kissy sound}
Several years ago, my BFF and I started talking about getting a daisy on our toe...on  the second toe of our left foot.  We've gone back and forth on the issue...should Christians have tattoos...we've researched it...we've looked in the Bible...discussed the pain factor, many, many times...we did our due dilligence and then decided (well, I did anyway) that it was Ok. And she is OK with it too - especially once her uncle, a Methodist minister, showed up with one. ;)

So, we started talking to different people about what...where...we looked at pix online...this that & the other.  And somewhere in the midst of all that, I started thinking about this necklace that I own.  My parents gave me the necklace several years's a heart shape with a Jesus fish and cross in the center.  It's one of my favorite necklaces - it's unique.  I've never seen another like it. And I thought, "Hey! That'd be a great tattoo".

Last year I had pretty much decided I was going to get that tattoo for my 35th birthday in June...and then came to a screeching halt when I found out that you couldn't swim for at least 2 weeks.  So, I put the whole thing off until September.

And Labor Day weekend of 2011, this is what I did...

Of all the things I could've gotten, I thought this was the best choice.  I love it.  And it's unique...the artist looked for something to "go by" other than my necklace when he was trying to draw it up...but he couldn't find anything.

So, there you have it...just call me "Girl With the Heart/Cross/Jesus Fish Tattoo". :)

And just so you mom & dad have come to terms with their tattooed children (and son by law) and are OK with it.  I don't think they are going to join the tattooed world anytime soon, but they are OK with us having them.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday Musings

I love alliteration! :)'s been a while...I actually intended, hoped, dreamed and planned (I also love redundancy) to blog last week.  Every day, I thought, this is the day.

And every day, I was WAY too busy to blog.

Stoopid job.

Just kidding...I really like my job.  Really I do.  I mean, it has it's down every job out there...but for the most part, it's not horrible.

But the last two weeks, have been slammed.  I appreciate the busy-ness...sometimes I wish the busy-ness was just a little more steady and not all at once, as it usually is.


I have decided that 2012 is the year I'm taking control.  My first step was taking control of some financial decisions.  You see, I hate making financial decisions...and I hate pricing stuff like insurance, etc.  It intimidates me to no end.  Basically because I've never paid attention to anything.  Truly, when I bought my house, I signed documents that I semi-understood...but my main concern was the bottom line.  If the monthly payment fit my budget, then all was well. 

So, last week I *finally* closed on my house refinance...still semi-understanding what I was signing...maybe with a little more knowledge than the first time...and with a new homeowner's policy...which was my other step in "taking control".

A couple of weeks ago, I decided I had put off going to the doctor long enough.  I won't even tell you how long it has been that I've been to the doctor for anything other than sickness.  I won't tell you because I don't know.  I *think* it's been less than 5 years...but I couldn't put money on it.  So, I called a new doctor's office to set up a physical...which ended up being a nightmarish event.  Evidently you can't just become a have to come to a "new patient" appointment and then they will schedule a physical (or whatever you are pursuing, unless you are sick, I guess).  To me, this read as their way of collecting two co-pays...but whatever.  My new patient appointment was last week...and to my surprise, the PA decided to go ahead and do the physical.  Mostly because she couldn't code the appointment to anything else...which I kind of thought about beforehand...but what do I know.  "Taking control".

I'm not really sure what else is on this "taking control" list...definitely some improvements at the house...and really working hard to control my eating...and getting in the gym more often.  All of my 2012 goals are part of the, we shall see how this all works out.

Today, I'm thankful for a beautiful Saturday...and a rainy Sunday...but I am not digging the COLD today. 

Yes, it's snowing in the mountains today.

Take that, Spring! ;)

Happy Monday!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

2012 Goals - Update

A couple of months ago, I finally decided on setting some goals for 2012...things that I felt like are very reasonable...doable.  As a reminder, these are my 2012 Goals:

I thought it would be good to give a little update on where I am...mostly because I'm excited to see some of these getting ready to be crossed off the list! :)

1 - I am nowhere near accomplishing this goal.  My problem is that once I create a list, I want to cross everything off.  Never mind that this list is supposed to be something that I take 12 months to  finish.  So...after I set the goal, I took off...pushing myself (which is good for a runner mentality)...but I think I need to back up a little and work on some other areas of my physical fitness...and then begin to push further into this.  I would say I AM working towards this's a work in progress.

2 - I am very happy to say that I have made significant progress in this area.  I still have a ways to go in paying this off, but I feel really good about where I am with it.  And while I am still striving to have my credit card balance down to $0 by December 31st, I feel very certain that if for some reason I don't quite hit that mark, I will have it paid completely off in early 2013.

3 - I am CLOSING on my home mortgage refinance on Monday! :)  I'm so very excited about this...because who wouldn't appreciate a month without a house payment?  But also...I'm excited about reducing my interest rate by a little over 2%.  Also, within this process I had my home owners & auto insurances reviewed by another agent...and I cut my home owners down almost $200/yr.  The auto stays about the same...but I had been thinking for a while that my home owners was way too expensive - turns out I'm right! So, with the reduction of my home owners & the interest, I should see a good monthly saving in my house payment!

4 - Currently I have $300 in my savings account.  I had put a portion of my tax refund in savings for the appraisal that had to be done on my house...but I put more than I thought I would need, hoping to jump start my savings goal.  I really feel like I'll be up to the $500 mark by May or June.

5 - No progress...sadly enough...

6 - Eeek...I was doing really well with this for a while...and then I didn't.  Still need to work on this one.

7, 8 & 9 - I believe will all be accomplished within the next 30-60 days.  A lot depends on what happens at my re-fi closing.  If they cash out my existing escrow (*fingers crossed*), then I will have a nice little chunk of change that will go directly to accomplishing these three items...and maybe, just maybe, some new living room furniture.  I'm trying not to count my chickens before they hatch...but these are exciting times for me! ;)

So there you have it...Out of 9 items, I really feel good about the progress I've made (or should be making relatively soon) on several of these items.  I'm already doing better than I did in 2011!  :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

My friend, Rachel posted today what she's I thought (in my effort to blog a little more often, as I have time) I would jump on that bandwagon for today! :)

I'm loving...

Our weather this week...although, it appears that today is the last of the warm weather days.  It's not going to jump down too awfully cold...but today it's supposed to be around 80.  Tomorrow, low 60's for the high.  I will take it while I can get it!

I'm loving...

Now that my BFF is on Twitter, it's all about the hashtags - in texts, e-mails, in real life conversations...everything has a hashtag!  And I'm loving that she's there and can share in the Twitter madness! :)  Once again, blurring that line between virtual and reality...

I'm loving...

That tomorrow is my last work day for the week!  I'm off on Friday...but no sleeping in for me!  I will be watching my niece & nephew while my sister works and my brother-in-law sleeps (since he's on night shift this weekend). 

I'm loving...

That I DO get to sleep in on Saturday!  Dylan is going with Seth to his grandma's house to do some he's sleeping over at Seth's Friday night...which means that I don't have to get up super early to take him anywhere!  AND I have no plans on Saturday...AND it's supposed to rain (I think) I'm feeling a major movie marathon day!

I'm loving...

THIS song by Mercy Me...

So much so...that I went out at lunch and bought an iTunes giftcard so I could add it to my music! :)

I'm loving...

My new phone! :)  I got the iPhone 4 last year...fell in love with it.  Dylan has needed to upgrade his phone since December...and since I'm the cool mom a pushover I really wanted the iPhone 4S, I decided to use his upgrade to get ME the 4S and I gave him my old 4!  The best news???  If Apple DOES come out with iPhone 5 this fall (as is rumored) upgrade is in November!  Although, I have to say...the 4S is not a huge jump from the Apple is going to have to blow my socks off with the next phone for me to layout the moo-lah for another iPhone!

Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

"Draw Something" Fun

How many of you are playing the game "Draw Something"...and if not, WHY? 

A few weeks ago I got sucked into "Words With Friends"...which I'm still stuck on the game.  Mostly because it seems that this is one of those games that you are get better at as you play it more.  And I play it...a lot!  My BFF & I play...but she told me that she was really stuck on this game "Draw Something".

Well, a couple of weeks ago, I tried it out.

And now am 100% completely and totally addicted to this game.

So. much. fun.

I am not a good artist...and drawing on my iPhone is not as easy as you would think.  It's amazing that the things that I think would be easy to draw are actually some of the hardest.  And what you think looks like a dinosaur/dog/cow/what have you, does not always transfer well to the other person.

Just ask my friend Zac who tried to draw "macbook"...but failed miserably.

I have been able to snap a few of my "masterpieces" on my phone...and I thought you might enjoy seeing them too! :)

This is one of my earlier drawings...I sent it to Ashley and told her that it was sad...she said couldn't laugh at it because her's was about the same...only a lot more blood.

In the midst of watching this one, I got a text from Ashley that said "that's the saddest looking cow I've ever seen". Evidently, she recognized what it was...because she got the word correct! :)

Another sad, sad attempt.  I thought "Vader" would be soooo easy...draw a black mask.  Well, as you can see...not quite so easy!

I personally just loved this one...with the lion's crazy eyes and everything!

Quite honestly, this is the one that I am most proud of.  I can't remember what my three words were, but I had to do this for my BFF since she dressed up as Snooki for Halloween one year.

I sit and laugh and laugh and myself and the other drawers in this game.  It's just so much fun!

If you wanna play with me (and why wouldn't've seen my work!), my user name is brwnidgrljenn! :)

**This is not an advertisement for the app 'Draw Something' and I did not receive any compensation or a free app for writing this blog...but if they wanted to send me the full version for free, I would not stop them! ;)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Merging the Virtual with the Real

When I first started this blog, it started as an experiment.  I have always enjoyed writing and I had been mildly stalking reading another blog regularly.  I thought "Hey this could be fun". 

Soon my blogging became about networking with other blogs…trying to get others to read MY blog…see my thoughts.  But the problem became that the people I was interacting with, I didn't know.  I liked the anonymity.  I created a new e-mail address that wouldn't link me to my "real" world with my real name/Facebook/etc.  I created a twitter account that would support my need to not have people that I didn't know make connections to me in real life.  I mean, I didn't want to create a situation that would end up proving dangerous for me or my family. 

But in reality, I think I was a little scared.  Scared that people that I knew in real life would find this…would see my thoughts expressed here in this forum…and I continued to keep this blog world very separate from my "real" world.  I did have a few "real world" readers - my best friend knew about the blog…my parents stumbled upon it somehow.   But other than that, the people who I was interacting here would most likely never enter into my "real" world.  And over time that began to bother me.

Now - let me back up just a second…I don't want anyone reading this to think that I feel like connections I've made here are fake or unreal.  There are a handful of people who I met through this blogging world that I feel are "real" friendships…I truly believe that there are a few of you that I will one day have the joy and pleasure of meeting in real life.  But, there are not many of those.

So, as I began to feel  this disconnect between this virtual world I had created and my "real" world, I pulled away from blogging.  I needed to focus and invest more time and energy in my day to day relationships…people that I could touch and see.  

But, then, one day…something happened.  I have traditionally popped in and out on Twitter…I'll tweet a lot…and then nothing at all for days/weeks.  For some reason, I checked my followers…and there was a real life person who had found my Twitter account and followed it.  I was terrified…all of the sudden a "real" person had entered my virtual world.  I joked with her that she had uncovered my secret identity; but soon I began to seek out other Twitter people who I knew in "real" life.  Slowly, my two worlds are beginning to merge.

I'm not ready to go full force and put myself out there (I won't be posting on FB when I create a blog post), but I'm not going to be afraid if "real" people read this. 

So…please make yourself welcome…visit often…read what you want to read…don't read if you don't want to...but no matter what, you are welcome here in my virtual world!

Oh...and for those of you wondering...No, I never decided to give up something for year wins again! ;)

*Just a note - I had to disable the option for 'anonymous' people to leave comments because I was constantly getting spammed - you must have a Google account to comment.  But you are more than welcome to send me an e-mail comment (if you'd like) to :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


I wanted to make my title a little more catchy - like "Giving Up Lint for Lent"...but it seemed a little I'm just sticking with the simple.

Last night, not sure why, but I asked Dylan when Lent begins.  And I'm not sure why I even thought about asking Dylan...because all I got from him was teenage shrug, raised eyebrows that said "why are you asking me" and a gruff "I don't know".

So, of course, trusty iPhone in hand...I googled it.  And found out that this coming Wednesday is "Ash Wednesday" and the beginning of the Lent season.

Quite honestly, I don't  know that much about Lent.  I know that it's a time of self sacrifice and it's the 40 days leading to Easter.  I know that Protestants don't truly observe Lent, as a Catholic would...but every year as I begin to hear about "Fat Tuesday" and Mardi Gras and the other things leading up to Lent, I always think...what could I give up? 

One year, our Pastor asked us to give up something during the season of Lent as part of a churchwide fast of sorts.  He actually fasted for the 40 days, while others gave up sugar, coffee, TV and other things that they really enjoyed.  I personally gave up TV for the 40 days.  And truth be told, it wasn't that difficult. 

But I don't really know that I truly embraced the meaning of Lent.  Truly the act of abstaining from food or an activity that you enjoy is meant to be replaced with times of more focused prayer, scripture reading and meditation on God's word.  I'm pretty sure that instead of filling my evenings with continuous TV watching, I read - and not my Bible.  I don't remember spending time meditating on God's word, nor do I remember praying any more than I do normally.

Every year, I think - I really should give something up for Lent.  And every year, the 40 days pass, without my observance...and once again, I think "next year".

I'm aiming to turn "next year" into "this year".  Lent has snuck up on me, though...but I don't think it's too late.  By the end of this week, I am determined to come up with that one thing that I can give up for Lent. Either sugar, TV, desserts, candy...any of those things would be good places to start.

Do you observe Lent?  If so, what do you give up?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Where the Heart Is...

My heart is...

Snuggled down in my oh so comfy bed with a good book or a favorite movie

In a brown eyed boy who has grown up way too fast

Buried in the notes, lyrics, melodies and harmonies of a broad range of music

Between the pages of my favorite books that line my bookshelves...and some that are stacked here and there

Within the walls of my little yellow house

In a quiet, snowy morning

Around the corner from my little yellow house in my momma's kitchen...where I've been fed so many times - both physically and emotionally

In a musty, old auditorium at Fort Caswell where I gave my heart to Jesus

In the smiles, giggles and chatter of a blonde haired, hazel eyed 2 year old little boy

With my Aly-gator

Beside my best our laughter...and our tears

In the mountains of NC...and on the warm sandy beaches

Pieces and parts...left here and there...

Thank you to my friend Jen who let me "borrow" this idea! :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

2012 Goals

So...I know it's been a while since I've posted...and it's certainly WAY past over due for me to be setting my 2012 Goals...but here it is anyway.

Last year I attempted to set "Eleven  in '11" which was supposed to be eleven things that I was going to do in 2011.  Sadly, I think I might have accomplished about three things on that list.  And really and truly, that is SO sad.  Because they weren't hard things AT ALL!

I hate making "resolutions" - for the same reason no one else likes to make them - we all FAIL miserably at keeping them.  So, instead, I've decided to make some goals.  I've been rolling these around in my head since January and on Tuesday I finally got around to putting pen to paper so I could keep track of what I was setting out to do. 

And when setting these goals, I wanted to set things that were reasonable...within reach...nothing too complicated.  Most of these things are just one step to something bigger...and I think these are all great places to start.

So without further 2012 Goals (as posted on my dresser mirror)! :)

I'm really excited about this list.  And yes...I do think it's funny that "replacing blinds" made my 2012 goals list...but I've been meaning to do this since I moved in...and it's just not happened yet.  There are a few other things that I'd like to do (buy new living room furniture, fix the drainage issue in my side yard, buy a Kindle fire) but I truly believe that by accomplishing these things first, I'll eventually be able to do the other things that I'd like to do.  And if I do everything in 2012, what will I have to do in 2013??? ;)

In other news, the great college onslaught has begun for my high school kid.  He took the PSAT in the beginning of the school year, plus he is now Microsoft certified in Excel & Access (whatever that means) the college info has started pouring in.  This makes me both excited and sad...excited because out of the colleges that have contacted him, Wake Forest is on the list (to me this is HUGE because Wake is hard to get in to...but it would also mean MAJOR scholarships since 4 years of tuition would probably equal the cost of my house) and I'm excited to see so many colleges reaching out to him.  Sad because we are getting closer to the day that he will leave me behind...

And to correct another issue that has been a thorn in my mother's side...I put a special "call out" for my Dad on his birthday in November...but didn't for my mother in December.  Why you may ask?  Because I only blogged ONCE in the month of December...and it was a full 15 days after her birthday. But, she will not let it I want to officially wish my mother a belated Happy Birthday via my's only 2 months & 8 days late.  I guess the birthday dinner & gift were not enough for her! ;)

This is one of my favorite pictures of my parents...taken last June...

Seriously, I do love my momma! And I know she had a happy birthday in December! :)

Hope you all are doing well...maybe I'll get back into the blogging habit...we shall see!