Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thursday's Random Thoughts

Good day, folks! Time for another round of my completely strange and random thoughts. Be warned that at some point some of my random thoughts will probably repeat themselves. Reason being, I still don't have answers to some things, and until I get those answers, I will keep thinking about them.
Here goes:Today, as it was raining, I got out of the car and was heading into work. I turned around to look at the car and wondered why in the world our headlights have wipers on them. I don't get it. Why do headlights need wipers? I'm pretty sure ours don't work, but nevertheless, why are they there in the first place? Who thought of that idea? "You know, that car needs something. about wipers for the headlights? YES! Definitely, that's just what it needs!" Baffles me.

Tuesday night on the news, I saw a story about a funeral director who is being prosecuted for the abuse of a corpse (or something like that). Apparently this guy held on to a dead body for two years, and when it started stinking, he moved it from one location to another. He led the family to believe their loved one had been cremated, but he never was. Hmmm...remember when this was a big story a year or two ago? That guy ( a different "that" guy) had done this with lots of bodies? Ok, how can you trust that you have your loved ones remains when they are cremated? I've seen stories of how some places will sweep up any old ashes and give them to you. That kind of freaks me out a bit. I mean, a lot of people cremate their animals. Maybe I'm skeptical from all the news stories, but if places are doing this with human remains, I definitely wouldn't trust that I had my beloved hamster's remains in my little urn. This really has me thinking. I need to get over my cremation concerns because I have family that wants to be cremated. It's always in the back of my mind, though, that while we think we have Uncle Frank, we may have someone else's Aunt Suzie.

Guess what, folks?! According to an email I received this week, Walgreens now carries Snuggies. That's right. No longer do we have to order over the phone or online and wait for our shipment. We can now head down to our local Walgreens and pick one up. The only thing is, I bet you don't get the two for one deal, and I really bet you don't get the awesome book lights with it. Hmm...better order one online. I need that booklight!

I have a confession to make. I'm not a big hand-holder. I like to hold my boys' hands, but other than that, I'm pretty hands-free. I'm not even big on holding Channing's hand. It's just not my thing. Channing and I once visited a church when we first moved to town, and I didn't want to go back because they made everyone hold hands (from the way things were done, it sounded like this was a regular Sunday morning occurrence). I know it's strange, but it just makes me uncomfortable. Our pastor has everyone hold hands during a prayer on Wednesday nights. I haven't quit going yet, but it does stress me out a bit. There are so many reasons that it makes me uncomfortable, far too many to list, but the bottom line is, it just kind of stresses me. Ok, it's out there, I feel better.

While I'm making confessions, I have to get this off my chest too. This one will probably really make you think bad of me. Here last week at church, I had a hard time worshiping because I was so distracted by a woman a couple of rows up. She was dancing, and I mean DANCING. That's not strange to me. It doesn't bother me at all. I groove a little myself. The Bible says to worship by shouting, dancing, etc. Got it. What distracted me was that she was totally dancing to her own beat. I mean, the songs were slow, and she was getting it. I mean, WAY fast dancing, to some beat that I certainly couldn't pick up from the worship band. I tried to ignore it, but like a train wreck, my eyes were just drawn to it. Fortunately, someone came to our row, and we had to scoot down. That moved me from being directly behind her. After that, I was fine, free to worship. In her defense, the Bible says to worship with a "joyful noise". I'm pretty sure my singing sounds far from joyful. I'm sure if she had to hear my singing, she would be distracted too. It's THAT bad. :)

I totally forgot to include this a couple of week's back, but when we were at Disney World, I saw a woman...a GROWN woman...wearing a NKOTB t-shirt. That's right, a New Kids on the Block t-shirt. I was shocked. I mean, I know they're "back" and everything, but to see an adult woman wearing one of their shirts kind of threw me for a loop. Yeah, I'm not quite ready to venture back there myself.

I have a question for moms who have been pregnant with both boy and girl babies. Were you more emotional with girls? You see, when I carried my boys, I had mood swings, but nothing like I've had with this girl. It has been CRAZY! I am totally not myself. Some days are more normal than others. There are some days, though, where I am off the deep end for the entire day. Everything makes me frustrated and stresses me out. I don't know if it's just this pregnancy, if it's the normal stresses of being a mother of two already, or what, but it's really really strange. Someone help me out here. Did you notice a difference in your mood while carrying a boy vs. carrying a girl? To combat it, I'm making sure to take my tuna omega supplements and get lots of exercise.

While I'm on the subject of my pregnancy, I had someone ask me yesterday if I was pregnant. She hadn't seen me in a while and didn't know I was expecting. She said she didn't want to say anything about my belly but could see it in my face. Yeah, that one kind of hit me. She is so sweet, and I'm sure didn't mean anything by it, but if it were you, would you assume she meant that your face was fat? Yeah, that kind of brought me back to reality. So no, it's not just my belly that's getting big, it's my face too. BUMMER!

I own like two ponytail holders. I used to have more, but somehow, I've managed to lose them all. I have no idea how, but I always manage to lose them. If they don't get lost, they get super stretched out. The two I own now are neon green (oh yeah, it matches ALL my clothes) and brown. I really should buy more, but I always forget. So when I can't find one of my two, I get a little stressed. If you ever see me at Target or Wal-Mart (you probably won't run into me at Wal-Mart. I usually try to avoid that place like the plague), would you remind me to pick some up. You have NO idea how helpful that would be. If I keep forgetting, I may have to venture over to Brandi's for some scrunchies! :)

Ok, that's all I've got for this week. How about you? Any random thoughts to share? If so, please leave them for me. They make my day!!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Turning 30...What to Do? Go to Disney, Of Course!

Disney~Part 1
This month, I had the distinct pleasure of turning 30. It was something I dreaded for a whole year, but once it got here, it was ok...not nearly as bad as I thought. Of course, I may just still be in denial, who knows? For my monumental birthday, I was given a fabulous weekend trip to Disney to spend with two of my favorite boys, Channing and Tristan. We went last year (and the year before) but last year when we went, Tristan got sick and missed a couple of days of fun. It was so sad, so we really wanted to try to get him back there this year.
Here we are the morning we left. This picture was taken before 5:00 in the morning. Yeah...really early! Despite the early morning, Tristan was really excited!
Here is Tristan on the plane. He was enjoying his newest gadget, the Fisher Price kids' DVD player. This thing is the greatest! It was such a hit in our household, both boy had to have their own. Oh yeah. It's that great.
This trip, we stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge in a villa. The hotel was amazing! Here is a shot from inside the lobby:And Tristan's favorite spot...the lobby t.v. The child loves a cartoon. Every time we went down to the lobby, he had to stop, sit, and watch a quick segment of whatever Disney cartoon was on. Seriously, we were at Disney, and our son wanted to watch t.v.This is a shot of the view from our balcony. The pool was made to look like a lake. Behind the pool was a fence, and behind the fence were flamingos and other beautiful birds.A different angle from our balcony. Over our shoulders, was an area with all kinds of animals: giraffes, kudu, wildabeast, zebras...I forget what else, but it was so cool!Our first day there, we spent our time at Animal Kingdom. I didn't take a lot of pictures the first day because this was one of many visits we've made to Animal Kingdom, and I just didn't feel like having tons of repeats. I probably should have taken more, though. I made up for it the next day. I did, however, have to take pictures of what our son enjoyed most while there his first day. Was it the safari ride? No. Was it seeing the hippo swim right in front of us? Nope. The tigers??? Guess again. It was Dino Land...where we have to pay for him to play carnival games. GREAT! That's my boy!Our first night there, Channing and I planned a big surprise dinner for Tristan. He loves dinosaurs and has for the past couple of years, and prior to heading to Orlando, we found out about a new restaurant in Downtown Disney. It's called T-Rex, and it's owned by the same people who own The Rainforest Cafe. Instead of rainforest animals, this restaurant is all about dinosaurs. We knew it would be cool and that Tristan would be excited, but we didn't realize how cool it would be and just how much Tristan would enjoy it. It was FABULOUS! If you have kids who are into dinosaurs, and you are heading to Disney, you have got to make a point of going to this restaurant. Oh, and on a side note, I had the lasagna, and it was AWESOME!This dinosaur was HUGE and was right at the front of restaurant. It was a t-rex that moved and roared. VERY cool to a four, almost five, year old.This little dinosaur was at the foot of the giant t-rex. Tristan spent some time roaring back at it after it would roar at him. Good times. I'm pretty sure he freaked out a woman nearby with a baby. I think she thought my son was a total weirdo, but little does she know. One day her baby boy will be roaring too!Here is Tristan showing off his dino chicken nuggets. We were in the ice age room, or at least, I think that's what it was called. It was cool because the room looked like ice and would change colors every five minutes or so.Another shot at our table. Behind the boys was a big skeleton of a t-rex.The t-rex:Tristan watching more dinosaurs:The baby wooly mammoth:The next morning, we had a character breakfast at O'Hana. We dined with Lilo, Stitch, Pluto, and Mickey. The food was SO delicious! We've tried most of the character breakfasts at Disney, but O'Hana, by far, has the tastiest food. My fav breakfast spot!
Here is Tristan with Mickey:Lilo:Tristan thought this was hilarious! Pluto came and sniffed him as soon as he got to our table. He napped on a guy at a table across from us. We love Pluto!A family shot with Pluto:Us with Stitch:My sweet boy with Stitch:A shot, minus the yummy fruit, of some of our breakfast. It was so delish!Tristan serving himself. This restaurant is family style. And that juice is amazing! At O'Hana, they call it Stitch juice because "Stitch makes it every morning". At the Tusker House it's called something else, which has totally escaped me at the moment.All in all, our first day at Animal Kingdom and T-Rex was FANTASTIC! Our Saturday morning breakfast couldn't be beat! Stay tuned for more of our trip from Disney.

I am trying to get back to posting about my family. They were the main reason I started blogging. I blog because I don't scrapbook. This was my way to document their lives, yet I haven't done a very good job of it. This is Tristan's third trip to Disney, yet this is only the first time I've posted about it. My poor kids! I've got to get better at scrapbooking or something.

Here is a shot from Tristan's very first visit to Disney World. It was the New Year's before he turned three...two years ago. I was preggers with Asher. Channing and I realized on this year's trip that now all three of our kids have been to Disney at least once. Tristan's first visit was at age two, Asher in utero (and then again last year), and Rhiannon in the womb. Very cool! If Rhiannon never gets to go again, I can always tell her she's been once. ;)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Um, Hello? I'm Standing Right Here

Yeah, so last weekend Channing did a heart day screening at a local hospital. He did free spinal screenings and signed people up to come into the office for a full exam. Well, one particular couple of ladies he signed up called me a couple of days before their appointment. They had lots of questions about their consultation and kept me on the phone forever. Towards the end of their questioning, they kept going on and on about the "cute young man" that checked them. I told them several times that he was the doctor in our clinic. They seemed less worried about that and more worried about talking about how cute he was. That was fine, but I was super busy and wondering if they were ever going to let me go. Finally, they did.

Cut to their appointment day. I was late getting to the office because I had to take Tristan to school (but let's get real...I'm late every day. It's just one of the perks of working for my sweet hubby, plus I don't like waking my kids up too early in the mornings). By the time I got there, they were scheduling their next appointment. As I walked in with my baby and big pregnant self, the women start going on and on (again) about how cute he is (except to him this time). The conversation went like this:

Lady: You are so cute. I bet you're married. You probably are...
Channing: I am.
Lady: ...but I have a sweet niece that you would be perfect for. You are so cute. She has a boyfriend, this is actually her mom (the other lady), but I don't like her boyfriend. You are so cute and would be perfect for her.

Um, hello lady. I'm standing right here. Yeah, she didn't seem to notice me at all. She was way more concerned with setting up her sweet niece (who already has a boyfriend) with her newly acquired, married chiropractor. Hilarious!

Working with the public is so entertaining! :) We have a couple of other women who come in the office and have been for the past couple of years. They always talk about how cute Channing is, to me, but always assure me that I have "nothing to worry about". They are more like sisters to him. Um, K, ladies. Thanks for that reassurance. Seriously. People crack me up! :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thursday's Random Thoughts

Welcome back to a late edition of Thursday's Random Thoughts. I'm sure my two loyal readers were so incredibly disappointed to not have this on the web earlier. I mean, how did you make it through your day, Mom and Grandma? Ok, here are my totally random thoughts from this week:


"Lost"...I am so addicted. It really is
the greatest show. This season has been awesome, and so many questions are being answered. What in the world will I do when the show comes to an end? Be sure that I will be in mourning. This will make my mourning over "Dawson's Creek" and "Felicity" look like child's play.

What is the deal with Octumom?!? That woman completely freaks me out. I just can't help but grieve for those poor children. So many things concern me, and I pray that those sweet children will be taken care of...even if it is by the taxpayers.

Speaking of totally freaking me about the 13 year old dad?!? Has anyone else seen this story. Heartbreaking. The kid looks like he's about eight years old, and supposedly, he's a dad! He supposedly has a baby with a 15 year old girl. What in the world?!? Ok, 15 is too old for a 13 year old boy. And a dad?!? SO sad.

I know this won't make me popular with a lot of people, but can I just say that texting while driving makes me furious? It does. It really makes my blood boil. It is so incredibly dangerous, not only for the texter but also for those who have to drive beside, in front of, and behind the person distracted by updating their facebook status. Seriously, I love you friends, but if you're driving down the interstate or 280, I don't want to read about the guy you saw in the car beside you picking his nose. I would much rather you get home safely, and allow all the little kids in carseats to get home safely, and then update your status. Thank you.

Speaking of facebook status updates, I am amazed at how often some people are able to update their statuses. It almost seems as if some people's days revolve around those updates. Is that what Twitter is like? If so, there is no way I need any part of that. How does anyone get anything done? I have enough time-wasting activities as it is. My husband could attest to that. :)

I heard on GMA this morning that we are currently in the two weeks of the year that most people give up their new year's resolutions and quit dieting and exercising. All I can really say about that is.....YEAAAAAAAAAA! Does that mean I won't have to wait two hours to get on my favorite elliptical and treadmill?!? Awesome!

While I'm on the subject of the gym, I have to admit that when I go, I do something strange. I go to the gym to get a good workout, to do weights, to do cardio, to burn calories...but for some reason, when I go, I am obsessed with finding a parking place close to the front door. You would think I would want to park way far away. I mean, then I could walk and burn more calories. Nope. I want the spot closest to the front. Makes no sense.

Back in the day, when people wanted to waste time at work, they played solitaire. Does no one play solitaire anymore? I really don't think so. I think now everyone wastes time on facebook and twitter. What will happen to solitaire? Will it be retired? I had totally forgotten about it until today when our internet was down at work. I got on for a quick game or two (or 10). It was like welcoming back an old friend. Of course, once the internet is back up and running, good ole friend, solitaire, will be shoved to the side. Oh, and while I'm bringing up solitaire, I think that if you only draw one card (rather than three), you're a cheater. There, I said it. It's off my chest. I'll rest well tonight.

I hate getting new phone books. I really do. When I see the phone book passer outers going through our neighborhood or through our office complex at work, I cringe. I despise getting new phone books. I mean, is there a reason I need two of the exact kind of phone book? And do I really need five different versions (in doubles, of course)? Who uses all those phone books? And then I've got the ones from last year to deal with. It stresses me out. When I need a phone number, I use the internet. I don't need all those phone books. Seriously, I wish phone books would be least at my house. :)

So, a month or so ago, I thought I would be super cool and chic and order some Citizen of Humanity maternity jeans. I was SO excited until I got them in the mail. They were really cute until I put them on. Yeah, um, they were pretty tight and did absolutely nothing for my love handles. I was SO discouraged! I had $70 jeans (my price off ebay, and yes, they were EUC), $70 maternity jeans, that looked awful on me. Sadly, I listed them on Craigs List and sold them yesterday. It was sad to see them go. I considered saving them until after Rhiannon comes so that I could wear them as I make the transition back in to my regular jeans. Alas, I got an interested buyer and decided against it. I met the super sweet girl at church last night and said goodbye to my cool, hip, chic jeans. I guess it's Motherhood for me. I should have known I wasn't that cool. Enjoy your jeans, B! *sniff*

Why is it that when pregnant women (myself included) feel their babies move, they (we) say, "Oh, the baby's kicking!" Or "He's playing soccer in there!" I mean, let's get real here. That baby might be laughing at us. He might not be kicking at all. He might actually be punching. Does anyone ever stop to think of that? I bet twins have a blast laughing with each other as they punch their mommies' bellies and their little "soccer" feet get the credit for it.

As for calling our babies little "soccer stars", does that offend the football kickers? I mean, do football kickers get offended that they aren't ever given any credit? Or what about kick boxers? I'm just sayin...

Alrighty. That's all I've got for this week. How about you? I know you've got some super random thoughts stored up in that head of yours. Entertain us! Share what you've got. It always makes my day!!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Complain, Complain, Complain

I am officially and openly confessing...I am a chronic complainer. Yep, I am. It's out there. I feel so relieved to have it off my chest. Thing is, if you know me well, you probably already know that. If you've spent much time with me, you've probably gotten to experience my complaining. I'm so sorry!

Lately, God has been putting my complaining at the forefront of things He is showing me about myself. After I've spent time complaining to someone, whether it be about my giant belly (you're probably all tired of hearing about that), being tired, a tough day with the kids, work, finances, I go home and feel weary; weary that I've burdened someone else with my constant complaining. God is pointing that out.

He's also showing me through Tristan. Tristan has been complaining and whining a lot. Every time Tristan whines or complains, I'm quick to remind him of the verses in Philippians: Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. (Philippians 2:14-16).

God also shows me through others' complaining. In today's technological world, we all get to experience complaining at massive levels...we have the news, reality shows, face-to-face contact, the phone, blogs, facebook updates, twitter...there are so many ways to complain, it's incredible. Sometimes, I get on facebook updates, and all I see are complaints after complaints. I can only imagine if I joined the Twitter community.

Ok, got it, Lord. I have a problem. Now don't get me wrong, I think it's good to let your friends in on how you're really doing. I think it's great to release frustration, to receive encouragement and prayer; however, when complaining becomes what you are characterized by, which is how I often feel about myself, it's a problem. For instance, I am so excited about my baby girl. I know that she will be worth every single inch that I grow. So why do I keep complaining about it?

I also sometimes find myself complaining about things I wanted and asked for. What is that about?!?
I mean, I know people who have much more cause for complaint than I do, yet I never hear them complain. My sweet friend, Jennifer, has a child who was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Have I heard a complaint from her? Not a one! She is so faithful and positive. What a great example!!! Speaking of sweet Owen, please check out Jennifer's blog and be praying for her precious son. I have such faith that he will be healed...all the glory to God!

I don't know about you and where you fit into the "complaining spectrum", but I really want to get better about this. I want to focus on Philippians2:14-16, just like I expect Tristan to. I want to focus on the good things God has done and continues to do. I want to take the focus off of me and put it onto others. I want to make love my greatest aim (1 Corinthians 14:1). I really really do.

Now, don't expect me to stop sharing my pregnancy stories, specifically the crazy comments I get. I have to share those. You have to hear (or read) the crazy things people feel obligated to say to me. However, I am really going to work on not complaining so much. I realize, by hearing others constantly complain, that I must sound that exact way to many people who know me. I'm sure it will take time, as I've spent so much time complaining, but I plan to conquer this weakness. I, at the very least, want to keep my complaining to the minimum. :)

Ok, this whole post may have totally bored you! SORRY! I just have to put it in writing so that I can hold myself accountable. I hope you have a super great complain-free day!!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Thursday's Random Thoughts

Happy Thursday, all! Welcome back for another weekly installment of my most random thoughts. This week, many of my thoughts are focused on our Disney trip from last weekend.
Here goes:How is it that God can love me so much? I fail Him every day, yet He welcomes me back, patiently, with open arms. Do others realize how much our God loves us? How much He desires relationship with us? How quick He is to forgive us and take us back? I don't know about everyone else, but I am so incredibly thankful. I pray that I can show people a quarter of the love and forgiveness that my heavenly Father shows me.

Today, I read a couple of super encouraging verses. I hope they help someone else as much as they helped me: Psalm 33:18-19 : "But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine." No matter what the economy looks like, no matter how hopeless things look, we have got to keep our God front and center. If we do that, He WILL take care of us. Thank you, Lord!

I wish someone could explain some things about home pregnancy tests to me. Why do people feel the need to spend $10-$20 dollars on a single home pregnancy test? I truly don't get it. And now they have digital tests for those who can't read the + or - sign and for those who have trouble distinguishing from one line or two. I mean, do we really need a $20 test to spell out the words "You're pregnant"? Really? Let me tell you something...with Asher, I found out from a Dollar Tree test. That's right, folks. I spent a whole dollar to find out I was pregnant. I didn't need some fancy pancy test to give me the results. And let me let you in on another secret...your doctor's office uses the same ol' cheap test that Dollar Tree uses. Yep. They're not shelling out $20/test.

While on the plane to Orlando, I was checking out Sky Mall Magazine. In the magazine I saw something very intriguing. I saw Jumpin Jammerz. If you don't know what Jumpin' Jammerz are, you're really missing out. The ad states, "Jumpin Jammerz makes a great gift for that hard-to-shop-for person. Perfect for preteens, teenagers and adults." Hey! I have hard-to-shop-for people. Why didn't I know about Jumpin Jammerz sooner?!? Seriously. I mean, what says "thoughtful" like adult one-piece footed pajamas? I can't think of anything that even comes close. Now I know what to give my friends at family at Christmas every year...$75 adult footed pajamas.

At Disney last weekend, while having a quick lunch, I noticed something really disgusting...prepare yourselves...I saw "No refrigeration mayonnaise". It's made by Hellman's. Ok, G-R-O-S-S! I am not, I repeat, not a mayonnaise person, so the thought of using mayonnaise that has been sitting out totally disgusts me. Can you say e coli poisoning? Eeeeeewwww! Something about hot mayonnaise makes my skin crawl. Do people eagerly use non-refrigerated mayonnaise?!?

Being amongst so many people from so many different walks of life, you see all kinds of interesting things...most notably, unique fashion choices. At Disney, you see all kinds of fashions. You see the super hip moms and dads who are wearing their designer clothes and sunglasses. You see fanny packs. You see those who are decked out, head to toe, in Mickey gear. You see the men in their "Grumpy" t-shirts. A couple of my favorite fashions from the weekend: One woman at our hotel had on a hunter green shirt and neon (and I mean NEON) green socks. Very interesting. My other favorite was a man's t-shirt. It said, "I wish I was rich, but instead I'm really strong." HILARIOUS! I love people-watching at Disney world!

I have an idea for a new class. I think it's one that many women should be required to attend. My new class is called "Hover Class". What is "Hover Class", some might ask? "Hover Class" is a class that would teach women, women who prefer to hover when using public restrooms, how to hover properly. The much-needed class would teach women how to aim into the toilet rather than peeing all over the toilet seat. There would be sections of the semester focused solely on aim and target practice. There would also be a section focused on cleaning the seat should you miss. Seriously, you know I'm right. How many times do you go into a public restroom only to see pee all over the seat? What are you/these women doing? Ok, can I just say that I think it should be a law that if a public restroom (like all the ones at Disney) offers you a toilet seat protector, you should be REQUIRED to use it. NO HOVERING ALLOWED when toilet seat protectors are offered. I mean, I'm just sayin'...

I thought about starting to refer to my boys on my blog by their first initials, but then I thought people might be offended if they constantly see "T & A" on my blog. Bad idea.

What is up with Joaquin Phoenix?! Seriously. Did anyone see the Dave Letterman interview last night? I have NEVER seen such a horrible interview. I felt so bad for Dave, but he really handled himself well. He was HILARIOUS! Joaquin looked like a caveman and tried to totally blow off the interview. It was painful to watch. Word has it, he's trying to pull some master Punk prank by telling everyone he's leaving acting for his "rap career". Sources say, he's totally into character and trying to punk everyone. Ok, it's just not funny. Where's my "Walk the Line" Johnny Cash? I don't dig this new Joaquin. Come back to us, Joaquin!!!

Ok, folks. That's all I've got for this week. How about you? Any random thoughts to share. You know you've got 'em, so share them with the rest of us!

You Have to Have a Thick Skin to Be Frugal

Let me start this off by saying that a couple of years ago, using a coupon would have mortified me. This isn't because I thought I was above coupons, it's just that I thought saving $ .50 wasn't worth the critical eyes of those in line behind me or behind the cash register. It just wasn't worth it. The thought of using a coupon stressed me out. It seemed pointless. I felt like people behind would be thinking, "I'll give the girl $ .50, if she'll just go!" Maybe I thought people would think that because I felt that way sometimes...waiting behind the couponers.

That all changed a year or so ago when I discovered how much money I could save my family by planning and implementing a coupon system. If I were more organized with saving my receipts, I could tell you exactly how much I've saved since starting this, but I am not and have not been that organized. Just know that I have a saved a lot. My goal in any shopping trip is to save at least as much as I spend. In today's economy, at least for my family, it is super important.

So I take you to last Publix shopping trip. You see, I like to do my grocery shopping primarily at Publix because it's nice, clean, organized, they have a great variety, the workers are helpful (for the most part), and they have great deals. I prefer to shop on Tuesday nights because it's the night before the deals change, and I can often get the items I need and get rainchecks for those things they're out of. It just works for me.

Last night, I made a critical error. I shopped a couple of hours earlier than I normally would shop. I went before 6:00 because Channing needed me back to take care of the boys while he participated in a conference call. Let me tell you, shopping around 6:00 pm is not a good idea because that's when everyone shops. Everybody gets off work and heads to the grocery fun. Not only are the aisles clogged, but you also risk upsetting shoppers in line behind you if you're using coupons. That's what happened to me.

Once I had everything on my list, I searched for a pleasant-looking that didn't look like she would want to stab me for using coupons. I found one, but she already had someone in line. The lady beside her, who looked quite ticked off that she had to work at all, had a completely clear aisle. Because I was in a hurry and because I didn't want to tick her off, I went to her line. The lady didn't even acknowledge my existence. She simply started scanning my merchandise. As soon as she was through, I handed her my coupons...with my $5/$30 coupon right on top. First off, I noticed that she didn't scan my $5 off coupon. I didn't say anything, though, because I thought that maybe she was waiting to do that one last.

During this time, a man got in line behind me. I was thinking, "Oh no. He's not going to be happy about her scanning my 50 coupons." He wasn't. He looked right at me and said, "I am terrible at picking lines!" I mean, what do I say to that? I simply said, "I'm sorry." Thing is, the line next to us was almost finished with her customer. He could have gone over there. Did he? No, he stayed in my line so he could insult me further. Next thing he said, which seemed to be a pointed jab, was, "I wish my wife would clip coupons so I could save a few pennies." I italicized "pennies" because he seemed to be insinuating that I was taking up his time to save next to nothing. So I told him, "Well, I've saved $57 already," and the lady was still scanning. He didn't really say too much after that. My cashier, though, seemed to like him better than me and immediately struck up a smiley conversation with him.

Ok, so all this was going on, and she came to the end of my coupons. She then told me my total, and I had to humbly (it was SO hard...I was trying so hard not to be prideful or embarrassed) tell her that I noticed she never scanned my $5 off coupon. I was met with a huge *SIGH*, and she began to search through my coupons to find it. That lasted all of five seconds, and she simply entered in the $5 credit. This was followed by a "There." To add insult to injury, I used a gift card for part of the total. I know the man behind me must have been ready to punch me, the cashier too. It was brutal.

Eventually, I made it out of Publix. I can't say that my dignity was entirely in tact, but I did save my family a lot of money. I think that makes it worth it. I don't know. What I do know is that saving money and living a frugal lifestyle takes time, effort, and a thick skin. Oh, and may I suggest shopping at odd hours? That way, you can get lines to yourself without having to tick off others in line behind you. That's what I prefer, anyway.

Monday, February 9, 2009

It's Official...I'm No Longer in My 20's

That's right, folks. I am officially 30 years old. I still can't believe it. I'm in a bit of denial. I don't feel any different, but I know that I am. I am now in another decade. I am now a certified "ma'am". *sigh* Oh well. Being 30 probably won't be as bad as I feared. I mean, so far it's been great.

First off, my super sweet husband planned a fabulous surprise birthday party for me. It was the weekend before my birthday and was SO much fun! I kind of suspected something was going on but had no idea that my surprise party would be at the park (so clever and creative and PERFECT for all the kiddos) and that so many of my best friends would be there. I am not one that likes parties for myself (I panic at the thought), but I am so thankful that Channing did this for me. I felt so blessed and special to be surrounded by family and great friends.

Let me just say that Channing worked so hard to keep this a secret. It would have worked, too, had I not used his email to send out some stuff for work. When I was in his email, I saw some responses to a message he had sent out about my birthday. I DID NOT open any of the messages but did see the subject line about my birthday. Poor Channing! He tried so hard! Until I saw the messages, I thought he wasn't planning anything at all for my birthday and was kind of sad. I mean, I was, in no way, expecting a party, but I thought he would at least talk about me turning 30. Nope...nothing.

Back to the fabulous party he planned...since I didn't know I was heading to my own birthday party, I didn't have my camera. Channing didn't think to bring it, so I wasn't able to take my own pictures. However, my super sweet friend, Leisha, shared some she took. Thanks, Leisha!!!

Here is a shot of some of the greatest friends in the whole world. Some of these girls I met in college, some I met here in Birmingham. Each one of them holds such a special place in my heart. Each is special and unique and brings me so much joy. I could go on and on about each of the ladies in this picture. You have NO idea. I love you, ladies! Thank you for making my birthday one to remember!!! I am SO incredibly blessed to call you friends.Here is a shot of a little man that stole my heart three years ago...Eli Hairston. Isn't he a doll?!? This sweet little guy wanted a picture with me, and I was more than happy to oblige. Isn't he gorgeous?! He is so precious. He belongs to my sweet friend, Leisha. Oh, and a little lipstick would have been nice. I had no idea I would be seeing so many people. Who gets dressed up to go play at the park with their kids???And here is a shot of Leisha and me. Love you, Leisha!!! Thanks, again, for sharing your pictures.I wish I had a shot of everyone who made it to the party. My mom took one, but she doesn't have a digital camera. :( If I get a copy, I'll have to share it.
Thank you to everyone who went out of their way to make my birthday special, even those who couldn't be there in person. I am so incredibly blessed to have such a great circle of family and friends. Love you all!

Next surprise trip to Disney World. Yes, I spent my 30th birthday in celebration with Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and the rest of the gang. It was so much fun!!!

My Little Product Plug

Can I just say that this product is AWESOME?!? It is the Fisher Price Kid-Tough Portable DVD player, and it is the greatest!
Tristan already had a portable dvd player, but this one was a special addition for the big Disney trip we took last weekend. It was something we wanted to get Asher for Christmas but never did. We wanted it because it can be dropped, kicked, and pulled and will hold up...perfect for our rough and tumble boys.
This has been a huge hit for both our boys, so much so, they fight over it. It looks like Asher is going to have to have his own.
Anyway, wanted to share our great find. :)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thursday's Random Thoughts

Welcome back to another weekly addition of my crazy and random thoughts. These are just random things that have popped into my head this week. Some are more profound than others. Here goes:"The Boss" performed at half time at the Super Bowl this year. That kind of baffled me. I mean, is Bruce Springsteen the hot thing right now? Apparently he is because I was laughing about it all week, and then yesterday, I saw that he has some kind of top selling record right now. Who knew? Bruce Springsteen...2009. Interesting.

I watched a segment of Heidi Klum's THS on "E" the other day and was so pleased to hear that she gained 40 pounds in her last pregnancy. I was thrilled to hear it because it was so close to what I gained with my boys. Of course, then reality set in and I was reminded that she lost all her weight in eight weeks...just in time for a Victoria's Secret fashion show. Thanks for bursting my bubble, Heidi!

Speaking of pregnancy weight, I had my monthly doctor's appointment today. Channing wasn't able to go because of the appointment timing, so I went alone. I was feeling pretty good about my weight gain...until I stepped on the scale. Once I saw my weight gain, my hopes fell. I gained SEVEN pounds in the past four weeks! That, in itself, is bad enough. What makes matters worse is that for three of the four weeks, I was fasting sweets and soft drinks. Plus, I've been doing weights and cardio regularly. Seriously, I went to the room and almost cried. It was all I could do not to burst into tears. Thank goodness it took Dr. Sharp a while to get to my room. Had he gotten there earlier, he would have had to deal with my hysterics. Instead, I was able to compose myself and save my bawling for the ride home. I did try to talk to him about my weight, but he didn't seem concerned. Channing either. Oh well.

Why do some moms/parents allow their children to put their hands all in other people's babies' faces? Seriously, people don't like that. They may tell you it's "ok" when your child slaps their baby upside the head, but just's not. And I'm not talking about friends' kids here. I'm talking about complete strangers who think it's ok for their child to rub and slap my baby's face. It's not ok. It's not ok with me, and I'm pretty positive others don't like it either.

National Signing Day was yesterday, and I couldn't have been more excited about the results. Bama RACKED UP! For the second year in a row, the Crimson Tide scored's #1 recruiting class. Woo hoo! I just love it! I love it so much that I cried yesterday when I watched Tana Patrick put on his panama hat. Yes, I know I'm a little overboard, but it's just so much fun. Plus, I'm hormonal. ROLL TIDE!!!

So today I was dropping Tristan off at school, and the woman who got him out of the car asked him his brother's name. Tristan told him Asher's name, and then the lady told me how pretty my boys are. She then said, "Yeah, if you had a girl, she'd probably be ugly!" WOW! Thanks, lady! I really appreciate that. She did follow up with, "She would probably be ugly because your first two are so pretty", but still. Who says that?! Obviously, she has no idea that I am pregnant and expecting a girl. Oh, the things people say...

Today I heard Milli Vanilli on the radio..."Girl you know it's true ooo ooo...I wantchu." I rocked out! I loved me some Milli Vanilli back in the day. Yes, I know they lip synced, but how fun was the music?! Would you totally judge me if I put some Milli Vanilli on my ipod???

Alright, folks. That's all I've got for this week. The boys (minus Asher) and I are heading to Disney World tomorrow. I'm sure I'll have lots of random thoughts throughout our trip. :) In the meantime, I would love to know some of the random thoughts passing through your head this week. So if you're willing to share, leave them in my comments section. They make my day!!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

She Has Officially Been Named

We have had a first name picked out for a while for our sweet baby girl, but we just confirmed her middle name a couple of days ago. With my boys, their names were chosen years in advance. This time, we took lots of time, and I let Channing pick the names. I picked both boys and thought he deserved a "go". Of course, if I'm being completely honest, I did have to knock down several of his choices. We did have to agree on the name. I guess I kind of gave ideas, and he chose between them. Is that bad? I mean, he knocked down some of my choices too. He actually took away a couple of my favorites. Oh well. If the baby is to grow up with both of us, we should both like her name, right? Ok, I'm rambling. Sorry!

So here's the name:

Rhiannon Marie

Rhiannon (pronounced Ree Ann un) is (was~before I changed it when I got married) my middle name. It means "great queen". We picked it because family names are important to us and because it's really unique. Uniqueness is important to both Channing and me. We thought we were being super unique with our boys, but now Tristan's name is in the Pottery Barn Kids catalogues, and both their names were on 2008's most popular name list. Great, right? I didn't know a single Asher when I chose his name. Oh well! You can't patent names, right? It's not like I thought of it. It came from the Bible.
We also liked the meaning of the name. Meanings are important to us too. Tristan means "bold". Asher means "happy" and "blessed".

We picked Marie because it is a family name on my side. It is my grandmother's middle name, her mother's middle name (my great-grandmother), and my grandfather's sister's middle name. I don't love the meaning of Marie (bitter), but it is a form of Mary. Mary was Jesus's mother, so it can't be half bad. Mary didn't seem very bitter to me. :)
Again, family names are very important to us. Both our boys have family middle names. Tristan's is James. James is a family name passed down to the men on Channing's side. It is his middle name, his dad's, and his grandfather's. It could go further up the line than that, but neither Channing nor his dad are sure who it started with.
Asher's middle name is Thomas. That was my grandfather's name.

Rhiannon is a name that we will have to repeat often. We already do. It's rare that someone asks us our baby's name that we don't have to say it at least twice. And even then, they usually say, "Rhianna (or Brianna). Ok, ok)." Poor child!

We are so excited to meet our sweet Rhiannon. She is such a blessing, and we haven't even met her yet. I can't wait to see her sweet face and to watch her grow. I know God has great plans for her and am looking forward to watching them unfold. I'm also eagerly awaiting the meeting between Channing and his daddy's girl. He will be such an amazing father to a little girl. She will definitely have him wrapped around her little finger.

I am so blessed!!!