Friday, August 29, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Well this weekend is the 1-year anniversary of our wedding. The year has surely flown by for us. God has blessed us immensely throughout this year. We are thankful for the things he has gifted us with and the ways he has guided our lives together. This last weekend we had the great privilege of going to stay the night at The Castle at Glen Eyrie. It was amazing! We also got to hike to the Punch Bowls. I had a few falls on the rocks and got pretty banged up but it was a lot of fun. It was one of the more challenging hikes we have done together and Josh did an amazing job as my leader. That is an area where we have seen some growth. Not so much a problem with Josh leading but with me following. :) In the past when we would do tough hikes like this it would be quite difficult to work together and trust each other but this time we did a great job communicating and helping each other out. Well, mainly Josh helped me but it was a lot of fun! And no arguments or raised voices (except for my screaming as I fell) made for a very, very enjoyable time together enjoying God's creation. **I am adding clarification here to let you all know that I tend to get a little cranky when we hike and a certain man enjoys pushing me to go harder when I would just prefer to sit down so that is where the "raised voices" come in..mainly from my whining!)**
Another great event coming up is my birthday. I don't need to say anything else about this, you know what to do. ;)
To see the pictures of our trip, click the picture below...
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Some of you more dedicated readers may remember when I started posting my fitness accomplishments a few months ago. By fitness accomplishments I mean that I got up and went to the gym in the morning before going to work. Well Lacey and I have still been keeping this schedule as time allows and it has been going well. Lately though we have been getting very bored with the same old exercises and running on the treadmill. Not surprising! And we haven't been watching our food intake very closely so all the working out for me tends to get cancelled out by my late evening Sonic run for ice cream or a slush.
We were faced with the wonderful fitness frustration: PLATEAU. Neither of us had enough excitement about working out to push up the intensity of our workouts. We tried but it was too hard. J So we thought about challenging ourselves by training for a race. We also noticed this girl who is always at the gym the same time as us and she was using this book called Making the Cut. We talked about checking out that book to see what it would be like and I just went ahead and bought it. We both skimmed through it and decided it would be a good thing to try. The author is a trainer from the show, The Biggest Loser and she seems to have her stuff together.
The book consists of meal plans and menus along with fitness plans to reveal the strongest, sexiest you in just 30 days. We are just going to track our calorie intake and follow the workout plan exactly. We just completed Day 2 of the workout and I think it's going to kick our butts. Each daily workout has 5 circuits to complete and each circuit has 4-6 exercises. You do a variety of different exercises and I think this will give us the switch we need to keep our excitement going. I'll keep you posted every once in a while on how it's going.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
Here is what we have been working on...rearranging furniture, painting furniture, and trading beds. The dressers were a natural wood looking laminate finish. So we marched on over to HD and bought us some spray paint. And bam, Josh made them espresso brown and fossil. Also painted the handles that were originally shiny silver. We love them now! The bed has been moved to be catty corner. Need some suggestions for what to do in that corner behind the bed. Well maybe not do so much as what to decorate with. =)
Guest bed is now a queen size bed. A few weeks ago Josh found us a king size bed for that room at a yard sale for way cheap and it was just too big. So he posted on Craig's List to see if anyone would trade a queen size for king size and sure enough, a few days later we got a queen size! And that is my gigantic memo board fully installed now. I just need to put some memos on it.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
That's my dad walking from the boat up to the cabin. The water looks a little low this year!
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
So…trying to post pictures to blogger is proving to be difficult these days. As soon as I can we have a ton of pictures to put up.
Thank you for your patience. Thank you to blogger for making our lives difficult. J
We just had our first house guests and it was quite fun. Josh & I could really see ourselves opening a B&B someday. We both just love hosting and being hospitable to people.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Thank you for caring about us and what we are doing.
I'll be posting a ton of photos later tonight because we have been doing some major decorating at our house! And we are doing it frugally too! I don't want to say cheap for what that could convey but I will say we have been quite frugal. Do you know why we are being frugal? Because we want to save our money and pay down some debt that we have! Do you know why we want to do that? Because we don't want to be tied down and enslaved to debt. It is almost 1 year since we signed the mortgage on our house and in that time we have not created any new debt! We have simply made payments on things to pay them off. God has blessed us through this time! With each month that goes by we are closer to being debt free and we feel a little less pinching by those payments.
So hopefully the decorations we have made will be inspiring to you or at least impressive. :)
bye for now, see you later.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Here are my nephews. Not sure what they are doing but it looks like they could be reaching for the stars. Keep it going boys, you'll get there someday!
My aunt in Michigan is their babysitter so we randomly get pictures this way. Jackson (in blue) looks a lot like my brother, moreso his uncle instead of his dad. And Tucker (in orange) looks a lot like his mom's family but I can also see a little bit of our genes in him. They are such cute little guys and are growing up so quickly! I don't know when we'll get to see them again but I hope it is soon!
Well, have a good weekend! Josh is off the whole weekend so we are planning lots of NOTHING! :) On Saturday we hope to go watch our friends who are running the Pikes Peak Ascent. And that is really all we have planned!
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Last night we went to a surprise birthday party for a friend. It was fun and he was very surprised. The best part is that his parents flew in to surprise him and he had no idea. His wife took him out for a picnic while his parents arrived at their house and set everything up for the party. The look on his face when he saw his mom was priceless. He looked at her for probably 15-20 seconds and said hello and then it was like the light clicked on and I think there was a response that went something like oh my gosh what are you doing here?!
I had originally asked Josh to plan a surprise party for my birthday that is quickly approaching (September 1 in case you forgot, Mom) and then last night I told him I didn't need a surprise party so who knows what will happen.
So hold the date for September 1, there may be a shindig of sorts.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
So, during the relay, the French almost won, the Capt. of the team Lezak blasted by the French to win!
During the interview after the win, one of the Americans was quoted saying something like, "Yeah, we heard the Frenchies were talking stuff..." Eat it Frenchies.
Phelps celebrating their victory (for the ladies)
And the women's gymnastics is not so bueno right now for Americans. And the Chinese are 12.
I've been busy doing some stuff around the house and have come across a couple things I would like to pass along.
When changing out the electrical receptacles, make sure you pay attention to 15Amp vs 20Amp. I didn't mix any of them up, but it could lead to disaster. The easiest way to tell is the 20A will have a little slit off of one of the prong inserts and/or will say 20A on the face under the plate.
Also, when changing over a non-protected cicuit to a GFCI, have a plan first, then start cutting wires.
When cutting ANY wires, ALWAYS check for power. I had the power shut off to all boxes but the garage, I thought, and luckily checked the power before I poked around any of the boxes because I found two very random boxes that were still hot.
Lastly, invest in good tools. To do this you only need a couple testers, side cutters, flat and phillips screw drivers, wire strippers, needle nose pliers, and wire nuts. Quality tools keep you from fraying wires and stripping screws.
If you're doing any work under the sink that requires a pipe wrench...it's a good idea to have two. One will only get you so far.
Also, TAKE YOUR TIME and tape every connection with pipe tape (the thin white stuff). You probably only get under there every so often, so retaping and checking your seals will save you the hassle of finding a waterlogged cabinet over time.
This stuff is probably very common knowledge, but if you're like and just learn as you go and from your mistakes, maybe these can save you some time and trips to Home Depot.
On a cooking note, Annie and I had some very good friends over the other night for steaks and games. This is mainly from the Pioneer Woman, but a great way to prepare steak is...
1. Dry rub of only season salt (we like Lawry's) and lemon pepper. Not too much...
2. Wait until they are room temperature before throwing them on
3. Grill on high (400F) for 5 minutes a side (for medium/medium rare)
4. Baste melted butter and chopped fresh garlic, let set for a couple minutes (steaks are much juicier if you let them set for about 5 minutes before serving...allows the juice to soak back in)
This doesn't need A1, Sweet Baby Ray's, or any other delicious sauce.
This goes very good with fresh veggies (support your local farmers!), warm bread, fried potatoes, and grilled corn on the cob.
Depending on your mood, you could crack open some Cabernet/Merlot or Bud Lite Lime for a relaxing meal.
Speaking of drinks...
A nice refreshing drink I've picked up from the firehouse is:
1. 2 liter of Fresca
2. 2 frozen cans of limeaid
3. 1 can of Monster energy drink
4. Chopped up fruit of your choice (oranges or strawberries are good)
Mix it all together until the frozen limeaid dissolves.
It's a nice tart drink that's slightly caffeinated for a quick pick-me-up.
*For parties, try adding 1oz of Coconut Rum for every 8-10 oz of juice. ALOHA!
Sunday, August 10, 2008
I go to the furniture store where you can typically expect to be hounded as soon as you walk in the door and do you think I could get a single person to wait on me? NO! Maybe it is because I was doing my weekend, no makeup look but seriously. Not a soul approached me. I found the item we wanted to buy and waited near it for 10 minutes thinking a salesperson would surely walk by soon. Finally I went to a different department and found someone...here is where the story I really want to share comes in.
I ask the sweet lady if there are any in stock because we need it like now. She looks it up on the computer and there is 1 left, we have to walk over to a different computer station for her to take payment and collect all my information, not a big deal.
Here is the conversation that came next:
Sweet Sales Lady (SSL): "We can have the dresser here for you to pick up on Tuesday."
Me: "Ok, do we have to pick it up on Tuesday?"
Me: "The only reason I ask is that my husband has to work on Tuesday so we won't be able to pick it up until Wednesday, would that be a problem?"
SSL: "Well the warehouse is open for pick-ups until 9:30 PM..."
Me: "My husband works 24-hour shifts so..."
SSL: "Oh, I'm sorry." Me: "...we really won't be able to come until Wednesday."
Ok, she is sorry that my husband works 24-hour shifts? I think that is actually the most common response we get when we talk with people about the FF schedule. So just a note to the SSL and all the others who take pity on our schedule, it is our way of life. It's not something we are stuck with, it is something we chose. No pity or apology needed. Simply know that our life has a different schedule than yours and that is all it is, different. It is not bad, sure there are times when we wish it were different but there are also times when we thoroughly enjoy it.
So the rest of the story is that by the time that conversation ended and the lady went to enter my payment information, someone else had bought the 1 dresser that was left. It is backordered now! ugh. Do I want to wait 2 weeks to get it? NO! We'll go tomorrow and look for something else together.
So just wanted to share a note with you all about our life because this conversation today showed me just how weird our schedule is to some people. =) Don't worry, we aren't offended that you think our schedule is bizarre. Just want you to know that we think it is what it is so let's just embrace it. There is no getting around it.
Oh and another note, this blogging thing is getting quite addictive. There are many times throughout the week where I say, "Oh wait I need to grab the camera in case I see something to put on the blog." Or, "Josh, remind me to blog about -----." Or, "Josh, can you cook dinner so I can write this blog post." HA!
Ok friends, I am going to go sit by myself for the next 16.5 hours until Josh comes home. And I think she should be thankful that he works 24-hour shifts because if she has an emergency there will be someone there to help her very soon after she calls for help...
Friday, August 8, 2008
Today is a very repetitious day.
Last night we made smoothies for dinner and we put frozen green beans in them. You couldn't even taste the beans.
Tonight we will be going to an Olympic party hosted by these people. It should be fun. We are wearing togas. That will make it even more fun.
Josh has, in the last week, become a plumber and an electrician! He fixed some leaks over at Lacey's house and is in the process of replacing all the electric receptacles at our house. In case you have never tried to plug in a lamp or run the vacuum at our house only about 2 of the many outlets will actually hold a plug. The rest were like stretched out or something so Josh is working his way through the house replacing them all. Here's to happy vacuuming! J
And today we are having an Ice Cream Sundae party at work. Delish. It will be the perfect mid-afternoon snack. I'll skip my handful of pretzels and graham crackers today!
Thursday, August 7, 2008
In case you are planning to buy me a gift (or 2) in the next few months since I have some celebrations coming up I have decided to post my Wish List here for all to see. Well all 5 of you.
- This is the item I will be asking for whenever someone asks for a gift idea this year and for the next few years. I have always wanted Fiesta Dinnerware and now is the time. At Dillard's they carry the 5-piece place setting for $24. I want one of every color. Well seriously I don't care what colors I get, that is the joy of Fiesta Dinnerware! I would like to have 8 place settings in all though. And of course all the serving ware too. That would be nice. You can also find smoking deals at Ebay.
- The other item also falls under the home goods category. I need more color in my life!
- And of course I will always take cash or gift cards. Actually I will take those at any time of year, not just birthday or holiday celebrations.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
I like how everything is turning to a point system. It seems that any store you go to wants to give you a reward card that you can earn points through to get free stuff or discounts or whatever. Actually it's really annoying because I have to keep buying a new wallet to hold all my freaking discount or reward cards or whatever they are.
I much prefer the stores who will just let you give them your phone number and track it that way. There are some programs that I am part of and every time I enter my phone number it gives some other random name. So some other person is accumulating points because of me but I don't care enough to have it corrected. I'm lazy. I don't want to have to dig through my wallet and find your card, I don't care if I give you the wrong phone number and someone else gets the points, I also don't care to come to your restaurant 10 times before I can get a discount. Airline points seem to be the hardest to accumulate because you just want to fly whatever is cheapest. It's hard to do this on the same airline every time you go somewhere. But right now I am pledging my allegiance to a certain company that I think will prove to be very rewarding.
The conference that I coordinated a few weeks ago was held at the Doubletree Hotel which is part of the Hilton family. With the Hilton HHonors program (I don't know why they use 2 H's but they do) they give event planners points based on your final bill. The great thing about HHonors is they allow you to do what they call 'Double Dip'®—you can also score airline miles. Now typically they give 10 points per dollar spent on a hotel stay for HHonors and then 1 mile per dollar spent to your participating airline frequent flyer program. For event planners you get 1 point per dollar + 1 airline mile per dollar…the conference bill came in at just over $80K…do you really think they will give me 80,000 airline miles??? There is always that small print that says, "Other restrictions may apply". But seriously if I do get this many miles as well as hotel points……Joshua, we are going on a nice trip soon!
It is 60,000 points to stay at a Waldorf-Astoria in high season and 40K in low. But it is only 7,500 to stay at a low scale Hilton such as a Hampton Inn. A "free" ticket on my airline starts at 25,000 miles.
So today I am praying that God chooses to bless us with this opportunity because we are trying to savesavesave and paypaypay off debt and a vacation isn't necessarily in the budget this year but we would really love one.
Monday, August 4, 2008
I forgot to apply deodorant today. Now onto my daily hygiene habits, I typically apply deodorant a few times each week but this summer and especially with exercising so much I have been sweating so much more. Actually who am I trying to kid here? I sweat a lot. Always. Always have and probably always will.
I recently switched to aluminum free deodorant and it is so nice. Only problem, I think it is not as strong. And you know sometimes if you forget to apply it one day you will be fine because there is enough stuck in your pores from the day before? Not so much with this stuff.
Sorry to all I have tried to stay away from today. It was nothing personal, just afraid you would smell me and think I was weird.
Bye, off to drive home and put on some deodorant.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Last week I made this little wall hanging that basically a piece of scrapbook paper glued to a sheet of styrofoam to fill this empty space over our stove. It was ok but I wasn't totally into it and I didn't know the best way to keep the styrofoam on the wall so the next morning it was on the floor. I took that as an answer that I should not proceed with re-hanging the thing since I didn't really like it.
I wanted something a little brighter, more fun and useful. I didn't know what I would put there. I decided to go with something flammable. =)
So Josh is at work, I am bored and our house is 89 degrees (no joke, if you have A/C, invite us over please!) so I thought I would go wander BBB to see if I was missing any wonderful kitchen gadgets. Instead I found a 4-pack of cork board for 7.99 and a pack of 2-sided hanging tape for 3.99. I had some 20% off coupons too. As soon as I saw the cork board I knew what I wanted to do with it. Cork just screams kitchen. =)
So I purchased my items and off I went to Archiver's to see if there was some cooking-inspired paper...there was. But it was ugly. Well not ugly but not pretty enough to hang in my kitchen. So I found this paper that goes quite well with the curtains I made for the sliding door in the dining room. Not to mention how much I love the scrolly swirly things which I am pretty sure this guy invented for us.
So I used some rub-on letters and said, "What's Cooking?" and then glued on my paper to the cork board. After that I attached some raffia (used duct tape) and hooked some clips on it.
Now you see how functional this thing is????
Yes, I am a genius.
I hope Josh likes it!
Happy Cooking! If you can see those recipes you should try them.
One is for whole wheat pita pockets and the other is for chicken flavored dog biscuits. Both are a hit with the humans and dogs. =)
If we have you over for dinner in the future, be sure to check out the board, then you can steal my recipes!
Friday, August 1, 2008
The note then directed me to the bedroom where I walked in and saw this beautiful outfit laid out on the bed. See exhibit A. =) Next a note directed me to another room where I found 2 great books, then another room where I found 2 new games, then another room where I found some de-stress mint body wash and foot soak along with a pumice stone. And last but certainly not least the final note directed me to find my flowers and I turned around and there was my love, holding a gorgeous bouquet of flowers, already arranged in a vase.
I have quite the guy here, I just have to say. The best part was that it was just something he wanted to do. It wasn't a necessarily special day for us but it showed how special I am to him. Ok that is the end of my sappy love story for today. =)
I really like this outfit that he got me, I am so impressed that he can pick out the clothes that I never seem to find and they fit like a glove. This is not the first time he's picked a winning outfit. I surely am blessed!