Monday, February 21, 2011

A semi-relaxed Monday

So it's been a minute since my last meltdown of a post. Not as long as I usually wait between writing, but long enough. I'm feeling marginally better. I've spent a lot of time in prayer and some time talking to my amazing husband about the insanity swirling through my head. All of which has helped. Some. Some days I just feel so far removed from where I want to be, from who I want to be. I've been re-reading some of my books. The Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers (if you haven't read it, DO; amazing series) and it sums up my desires for myself so perfectly. I want to be that humble, to serve that gladly, to stay so focused on the Lord, and not the laundry, or the crayon on the table, or the myriad of other things that distract me on any given day. But far too often I allow myself to be distracted, far too often I feel the need to enumerate the countless things I did and put up with for my poor tired husband so that he'll appreciate it all. Never stopping to remind myself that God knows what I did today, and as long as I did it for Him, he will always appreciate it. So I continue in my prayers to be changed, refined, whatever word you choose. Maybe one day I'll get there.
I did get to thoroughly enjoy myself at church on Sunday. I got to help out in the nursery with the little babies. Too much fun. And a nice fix for the ever constant baby fever. It was a bit hectic at times for everyone, and I'm sure I could've been more help (being my first time in there, I wasn't sure where things were and all that), but it was definitely fun and an experience that I hope to repeat at some point.
And our coupon class is coming up soon. Saturday to be exact. I can't wait. It's going to be so much fun. I'm really hoping we get a great turnout. I've enjoyed couponing so much, and hope that we're able to pass that on to others as well. For now, I'm going to get off this computer and spend some time in my book before I have to start getting ready for work. I still haven't gotten put in for full time yet, but was able to pick up two shifts this week putting me at 39 hours. Praise God. Hopefully the full time will come soon.
Everyone enjoy the last of the long weekend.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Hello Again

So what a shocker. Life went and got stressful on me. Funny how that works out. And being that I'm a neurotic, emotionally charged woman (read: crazy lady) I've bottled it, hid it, shook it up in my head, ran around looking for a place to bury it, and then took the cap off and let it's carbonated insanity spew all over my sweet family. God love me, because some days it's a wonder that anyone else can. LOL.

Times are hard for everyone, and we're no exception to that rule. We weren't as careful as we should have been with our finances. Scratch that. I'm the financial manager for the family, so we'll go ahead and say that I wasn't careful. I let my inner child get the best of me, and I spoiled my little family when money was good. I wasn't a good steward with our savings or our credit cards. So I did what any SHE (FlyLady speak - from now on, all fly terms will be in purple text) would do, I went out and got a better job. BB had me working 35 hours a week for part time pay and part time benefits. PS took me on as part time, with the promise of full time to come in Oct 2010. Not necessarily more hours than I had, but slightly better pay, and much better benefits. Plus, the shorter commute would make the pay better due to the lack of gas needed to get too and from work. I love working at PS. I enjoy the company of my coworkers, I love working with the animals, and when people aren't dumb and actually have the best interest of their pets at heart, I love working with the owners. But full time never came. I'm down to 25 hours a week average, making an already tight budget shrink in some extremely uncomfortable ways. And the final blow came in finding out that we actually owe on our taxes this year. There was a mixup with hubby's paperwork at his job, and he didn't have enough withheld throughout the year. So now, I find myself needing put away what feels like massive amounts of money. Don't let my doom and gloom fool you. It's actually not that bad. We have family to help us out and we'll be alright in the end of things. But I trust enough of you have been there to know that in the thick of things, it can seem so much worse than it is.

So I've been in talks with my manager to try to get my promise of full time fulfilled. Hopefully that will come through at some point. Although I have considered taking on a second part time job to give the budget some breathing room. Only time will tell the eventual outcome there. In the meantime, I'm sticking with the coupons to save when and where I can and desperately looking for more expenditures that can be cut. Namely the "addictions", soda, snacks, cigarettes, etc.

On top of all that, I've gotten frustrated with my house and my wardrobe/appearance, and my child. I never could pick just one thing to worry to death at a time. I still love my FlyLady routines, and I still use them as much as I'm able. But I fell into FlyLady at a time when I was able to quit work and stay home with Little Man. It was much easier to adapt the routines to my day when they didn't have to change all the time. I've struggled with it as a working FlyBaby. Most days I get my routines done, but some days I don't. Most weeks I get my Weekly Home Blessing done, but there are weeks that I don't. I average about half my missions a week, but my detailed cleaning is seriously lacking compared to what it was before. Don't get me wrong, the beauty of FlyLady is being able to adapt it to whatever your circumstance is, and I know in the end I'll get it figured out. But part of being a SHE is being a perfectionist, and I don't want to take time to figure it out, I want to have it figured out now (says the inner child).

Little Man is doing good overall. There's been some behavior issues lately. But I'm sure I'm blowing it all out of proportion. He's 5. There are people 10 times his age that haven't figured out how to manage their anger, and I'm expecting him to do a good job of it. Really? When I actually do manage to put it in perspective, I know he's just a 5 year old little boy. But most days I don't manage that perspective.

On the personal front, I bit the bullet in December and chopped all my hair off. I loved my new short hair and determined to keep it trimmed and well taken care of. Well cue our personal financial collapse. So there's been no trims, and it looks like the short hair will meet an early end. Perhaps one day I'll go there again. But I was always happy with my long hair. I just never took the time to do anything with it. I'll be happy again once I get through the weird, not long not short phase of growing it back out. Tying together the personal and financial side of things, I was reading a blog that I follow and the woman that writes it apparently never buys new clothes at full prices. She buys all her clothes at thrift shops and garage sells or occasionally end of season clearance racks. And as she includes pictures, I can say she looks great doing it. I thought about challenging myself to do the same. I let the idea stew in my head for a while, and then while reading through one of my FlyLady emails, I was reminded of her friend, Missus Smarty Pants. MSP takes your body type and coloring and gives you suggestions on the best cuts, colors, styles etc for your. It seems she actually started out as a personal shopper. I figure if I'm going to shift to buying thrift store finds, I can squeeze in subscription fee for her site and make sure that I'm actually going to like the things that I buy (on that magic day that we actually have money for non-necessities again). Who knows, maybe before I'm 30, I'll have actually graduated from the cotton tee, jeans, and tennis shoes ensemble.

So that's where I'm at - stressed out and feeling compelled to overhaul, well, everything. But for now, I'm at home on a rainy after noon, sharing all my insanity with you. My sink is shiny, my laundry is done, my Hot Spots are still on fire. I'm still in my yoga pants and t-shirt from this morning, but I do have on my lace up shoes. Little Man is at school with a sleepover at Nana's tonight. And I have to start getting ready for work soon. In the coming weeks/months this blog is going to be shifting from being focused on my etsy site, to being focused on matters of faith, finances, family, FlyWashing, and fashion. If you're interested at all, you're welcome to join me for the ride.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

And I'm back

As is usually the case with me, I was playing around on Facebook, when I noticed a link to a friends blog, and remembered how long it had been since I last wrote. (Thank you Debbie and Jessice, LOL). So here I am again. Life has been moving right along since Christopher started school. The days still don't have any rhythm, but that's what comes from working retail. I do love my job at PetSmart though. I'm so much more relaxed than I ever was before, and the majority of my conversations do not revolve around work, and work drama, and work stress anymore. Don't get me wrong, PetSmart has it's own hardships, it's own special breed of frustration - because now you've thrown in defenseless pets taken in by people who didn't realize that they didn't have the means to take care of this loving creature, or they just flat don't care about how to take care of them better. Discussing pet nutrition with people is a constant source of frustration for me, but that's another story.

My little guy is about to be 5 years old, and the never ending case of baby fever flares up even stronger this time of year. As I sit down to write invitations, and shop for party decorations at the store, I remember the feel of that tiny baby in my arms, and feel like crying for the loss of all things baby, at the same time that I'm planning and preparing to celebrate the independent little boy that has replaced those things, and all the legos, army guys, dinosaurs, and star wars characters that have taken the place of all the bottles, pacifiers, and onesies. Of course it never helps baby fever when it seems like you always know at least one person that is either pregnant or has just had a baby. But that's life. Brian is still not ready to entertain the idea of another baby, but deep down I know he's right. I need to finish getting the finances back in order, and we probably need to move to a different house before a baby can be a possibility. I just really thought I'd have all my children before I'm 30. Lol. I know how ridiculous that sounds. Brian tells me often that I'm not half as old as I think I am some times. But I do feel like time for planning babies is running out. But I just have to keep reminding myself that only God knows for sure, and I need to be looking to Him for my happiness, and not to another baby. He's already blessed me with one miracle little boy, and he's turning 5, and is getting very excited about that. But first we have to get through Halloween. Trick or Treat tonight as Darth Vader. He's so anxious to get going.

I finally feel like I'm starting to settle in at church. I've met a great bunch of ladies through my Bible Study group, and I feel like I have learned so much, and grown so much in my faith, and my walk with God, in just a few short weeks. Brian's still putting off going to check it out, but I'm hopeful that he'll like it when he goes. Or at least that he won't hate it. I still dream about the day that we all regularly attend church as a family, but I can't make that day happen, and I have to work on not pushing so hard. And not letting my disappointment show whenever he says maybe next week. That's just another form of pressure, and it doesn't help either of us.

As for me, and I'm working on it. Working on it all. It's one I do best. Pushing myself to constantly do better, be better, clean more, stitch more, save more. I am nothing if not my own worst enemy. And then there's the every present inner brat - Annie, who whines away in my head that I shouldn't have to clean on my day off, I should get to enjoy my day off just like everyone else; and I shouldn't have to spend time looking over sales add and clipping coupons to get the best deals, I should be able to just go in and buy what I want (alhtough this one, not so much any more. It's almost become a point of pride for me to work towards saving at least as much as I spent - and I am determined that I WILL do it; at some point.) She is a jealous little creature. But I'm working on her too. (If you haven't discovered your inner brat, trust me, she's there. One of the many things I've learned from FlyLady and her friends over the past couple of years. LOL.)

As for everything else. I just finished up another piece for the shop, Granny's Noel Throw. It's one of my favorite patterns. I made it last year with every intention of selling it, but as the pattern came together, I knew I wouldn't be able to part with it. So I kept that one for myself, and remade the pattern this year for the shop. Now that Granny's Noel is done, and listed, I'm working on a personal project - a snuggie for myself. It's a fairly simple pattern and one that I'm hoping will work up quickly. For right now, I'm leaning toward the wedding rings pattern for my next shop piece, but I haven't firmly decided yet. I'm still kicking around ideas.

For now though, I think I'm all caught up. So I'm going to get off the computer, hang up the delicates that I just washed, and toss in another load before I pick up the crochet hook for some work.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

This week's question

The question posed by me Etsy group this week - Which song most resembles you or your life? Why and how?

This is such a difficult question for me to answer. Those that know me personally know that I was very involved in band throughout my school years. Music is vital to me, and ever changing at that. The song that resembles me now will be completely different an hour from now.

I think at this exact moment, the song that defines my life is a country song that came out a few years ago.

The song is called Ready, Set, Don't Go. Written by Billy Ray Cyrus, and - in this video - performed by him and his daughter Miley Cyrus. In an interview Billy Ray spoke about teaching his daughter to ride a bicycle and how he'd tell her "get ready, get set, go" as he let go of the seat of the bicycle. But as she got older and got ready to embark on her journey as an artist and an actress, all he could think was "don't go". While it's not nearly as dramatic, with my only son preparing to go to school, I feel the same way. He's ready - he's excited about school and can't wait to go, but I'm not ready. The little baby that I brought home from the hospital, grows a little more every day, right in front of my eyes. So I guess that would be the song I would choose to answer our question. Watch the video and enjoy.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A favorite story from my childhood

So an Etsy team I'm in, Create Crochet, has started offering a weekly question for us to all answer on our blogs so that we can better get to know each other through our answers. This week we have all been tasked with sharing a favorite story from our childhood. For me this is a difficult question, because there's not one instance that jumps out over all the others as a favorite.
I'd have to say that the time spent with my grandmother is the thing I remember most fondly about my childhood. For those that don't already know, I was raised by my grandparents, so were a constant present in my childhood. And since they were older and more financially stable than most parents are, Grandma was able to stay home with me while I was growing up, something she hadn't always been able to do when her own children were at home. She took me to school and picked me up almost every day (especially in my elementary & middle school days). I remember that she'd so patiently listen to all my prattle on the way home from school. She always had a snack when she picked me up - usually some cheez-it crackers with some cheeze-whiz on top. LOL, looking back, I think that's one of those things that only a kid could appreciate, kind of like Chef Boyardee spaghetti - have you tried that stuff as an adult? Absolutely awful. Most days we never went straight home, we were always off to Wal Mart or the grocery store, or in later years, perhaps the mall. I remember sitting at the kitchen table when we did get home working on homework while she cooked dinner, asking for help with any questions that were too hard.
I remember that as I got older and started wanting something to do after school, Grandma enrolled me ceramics class at the Rec Center. She had done ceramics when she was younger, and she passed the appreciation of it, and various other crafts on to me. Grandma was always crafting in some way or another. In fact, I credit her with me first trying crochet. If she ever saw something at a craft store or craft sale that she liked, she could usually figure out how to make it. When I became fascinated with crochet, she bought be a book that showed the basic stitches, and hook and a skein of Red Heart yarn, and told me to go for it.
As I got even older and got more involved with band then color guard, her and Grandpa never missed a performance. She taught me everything. At least everything important. And now, there's little I like more than watching her play with my son, and get to truly enjoy being a grandparent for the first time.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Chillin out

So I think I'm settling in at work. I'm learning A LOT, and I'm starting to find a rhythm with all the people there. This was my first Saturday really working the register and everything. All the adoption pets were there which made for an interesting (and loud) day. I think that's one of the hardest parts of the job. Seeing all those animals and not being able to take them home.

There's a particular pom-sheltie mix that's up for adoption. He's with a foster family right now. He's been adopted out three times since the rescue group got him (so 4 owners all together). It seems everyone keeps returning him because he's hyper. I can't understand why anyone would take a pom if they wanted a relaxed dog. Poms are hyper by nature. It just drives me crazy. But he's got an awesome foster family, and all I can do is hope a permanent solution comes along for the little guy soon.

On the personal front, I got my son's Pre-K packet in mail yesterday. That made for an emotional night. I can't believe he's getting ready to start school. I miss my little baby boy that would fall asleep in my arms. It's so bittersweet for me. Of course, hubby is thrilled at the prospect. I'm sure after a week or two, I'll find my rhythm with it, but right now, it's a little overwhelming for me. And seriously, when did Pre-K become an all day affair? He's going to be going from 8-3:30 every day! I could've sworn that my Pre-K days were half days. Maybe I'm wrong though. Who knows.

In addition to all that, I had a Dr appointment this week. It seems that I'm beginning to develop high blood pressure. So I have to start taking low dose water pills and start making some dietary changes to see if we can bring that back in line. Of course, hubby is all "I told you so" about the way I eat, but that's okay. It's just because he loves me and is looking out for me.

For now, I'm going to clean up from dinner, and get little man ready for bed, and hopefully get in some stitching. I've been a bit too busy the last few days to get much of anything done.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Awesome Monda

For a Monday, today was pretty awesome and relaxing. I got a few chores done this morning. Before typing up the care instructions for the baby gifts that I finished up last night. I can't wait till Ms. Mandy gets them. I really hope that she likes them. Now I just have to box them up, and they'll be all set to go in mail Wednesday morning.

After wrapping up my chores I was able to squeeze in a workout. I haven't worked out regularly in ages. But 45 minutes with Billy Blanks, and I remember why I love working out. I don't know if I'll be able to squeeze one in tomorrow since I have to be at work in the early afternoon, but I'm definitely going to try.

Other than that, I've been able to get quite a bit of work on the gloves I've started on, and I'm going to get back to work on that while I was the season premiere of The Closer and Rizzoli & Isles.