Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Emergency

By now you must be thinking, why hasn't Jessie written about her Dave Ramsey journey?  Has she given up?
Oh no, no, no silly people!  We've still been plugging along slowly.  January did not see the 3-6 month emergency fund growing by leaps and bounds as I had hoped.
January for us, presented a secret kept by our renters.  Here's a tip for any renters out there, if there are problems with the house . . . tell your landlord!  I can say, we are very thankful that we have this emergency fund!  A few years ago, looking at fixing a bathroom that has been leaking for the past (at least) 4 years would have been funded by a credit card.  Now adays, we have an emergency fund for that.  It just would have been nice to have been notified before the floor joists rotted thru!
But, no use staying mad about it. It is getting fixed this week.  And we are are moving on and changing a few things in that area of life.
So although not much changed along our debt free journey this month, we didn't go in to debt to fix a costly problem!
Tonight I am thankful for having this emergency fund in place.  We have a long way to go to get the fund where I want it to be.  But for now, it has already been serving it's purpose!

Monday, January 30, 2017

200

Do you ever see the same thing over and over in your facebook newsfeed?  Of course you do!
Ok, well I have seen these books over and over.  It took me probably a month before I even clicked to see what exactly these things were.
And it took me probably another two months to consider these books as something I might buy.  Then maybe another month after to buy them.  As you can see, I am sometimes slow with commitment!
Well they came in the mail today to my doorstep.  I gave the 100 Ways to Love Your Wife to the hubster.  And I have mine.  I flipped thru his book before I gave it to him, because I was curious what was in there!  And I've flipped thru mine too.  They look like pretty good books.
There probably isn't anything in here that we don't know.  But there are things in here that get lost.  Our lives are busy, too busy sometimes.  And things get lost in the business of life.
Tonight I am thankful for this set of books.  One for him and one for me.  And overall, 200 thoughts of love to keep us working on us.




Sunday, January 29, 2017

Twin

When my brother and I were little, we were the best of friends.  Ok, well we argued and fought too.  But for the most part, we were the best of friends.  My favorite toy back then was a black and white cat named Alley Cat.  And his favorite was a brown dog named Puppy.
Alley Cat is old now and his fur is pretty matted.  I've had to draw the pupils back on his eyes a few times now with a Sharpie.  But he is hanging in there.  I don't know where Puppy is.
A couple weeks ago, I was in a house that was for sale.  I walked in to a bedroom and guess who I saw?!?!  Puppy!!  Ok, so it wasn't Puppy himself.  This version of Puppy was kept pretty pristine for the past 30 years.  But, what a familiar face he had!
Tonight I was taking the pictures off my phone and found where I took this Puppy-twin's picture.  It's funny sometimes how these little things make a person smile :)
Tonight I am thankful for running in to Puppy's twin a few weeks ago.  People make decisions and go down different roads in life.  But I'll always have good memories of a different time.


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Another Set of Eyes

Sometimes I forget.  I forget that there are young eyes watching me.  I don't forget too often.  But I forget with the little things I suppose.
I had an appointment this morning.  I left without makeup on.  When I returned home, it was almost time to leave for basketball games.  I looked at myself in the mirror and saw how tired I looked already.  So I put on some makeup before leaving the house again.
My young daughter noticed that I had put makeup on.  And she asked why I did that.  I told her because I thought looked so tired.  She said, "No you didn't.  You looked beautiful!".
In all truthfulness, I did look tired.  I tire out so easily lately.  But, I am my own worst critic sometimes.
Tonight I am thankful for a pair of big brown eyes, much like my own; but ones that see me in a whole different light than I see myself.  I am thankful for the reminder that maybe I'm ok just the way I am.  And at least I sure am loved just the way I am.
And, just for fun, here is a picture of my crew at our celebratory ice cream after the basketball games!


Friday, January 27, 2017

Help

My kids get interested in my blog.  They want to help write it.  They like to give me ideas.  They want to read what I'm writing - p.s. I don't write well when someone is reading my screen.
I think over the years my kids have shown up in my blog more than anything else :)
So tonight I am thankful for my biggest fans and my biggest inspirations for something to be thankful for every day - my kiddos :)
Here is tonight's blog "helper" in his attempts to get to my keyboard!


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Launched!

One of the activities that my children participate in is Science Olympiad.  This year I have two middle schoolers and they have both elected to do this.  Last year was our first year with the program, and it was just my daughter.
I'll admit that my daughter surprised me last year when she said she wanted to join.  Science was never her favorite.  I smiled actually last year when she said she wanted to join.  I knew what changed her mind.
There was a teacher who changed it for her.  They clashed at first.  I can imagine that it would be quite difficult to spend days upon days with teenagers . . . teenagers who mostly probably don't care about science.  I do not have the patience for that job, personally.  And I had talked to my daughter, when her and this teacher clashed - that maybe she should cut her some slack.
Well, my daughter and I had talked and a couple weeks later; things were still the same as far as she was concerned.  So then I talked to the teacher.  I'll never forget her face when we talked, she had no idea my daughter felt the way that she did.  This teacher went above and beyond to make sure things were ok from then on out.  And as a result, my daughter started loving science :)
Tonight she came home all excited!  They had launched their rocket tonight!  And it went so far!!!  My son didn't have any big break thru's on his project tonight.  But they will come!
Tonight I am thankful for two kids in this program so far!  I know the other two will make their own decision to join or not to join when they get old enough, and that is perfectly alright.  But it is neat watching so far from a parent stand point!
I am also thankful tonight for a teacher who cared enough to fix what she didn't even know was broken.  Here we are now, an entire year later and the effects of her caring are showing strong in my daughter!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

New Rule!

Half of the children population in this household now have cell phones.  That means that I am watching half of the children population in this household to make sure that their faces don't become permanently stuck to their phones!
One loves to talk and text.  One loves to play games.  Mom loves to imagine smashing the phones with a sledge hammer :)  Mom also knows that this is the time to teach respect with phones.  We have rules.  We have a phone contract.  And phones do get confiscated.  Although, really, I feel like I should confiscate more frequently.
We also still have chore charts in this house.  We've been slowly perfecting our system of weekly chores and the children earning commissions for their work done.  Phones are the enemy of work in this house.  Sometimes the phones play music that motivates the children to dance while doing their chores.  But most of the time, the phones are a distraction.
Honestly, I don't know why it took so long for this idea to dawn on me.  But, last week some time, I made this new rule that phones had to be turned in to me after school until chores and homework were done every night.  This should have been a rule from the beginning!  The kids aren't allowed to get on the computer or the xbox until their chores are done.  Why hadn't I included phones?  Anyway, this has been working amazingly wonderful for one child!  The other doesn't care much.  But, we'll get there!
Tonight I am thankful for our new phone rule in this house!  I haven't had to search for a clean spoon all week!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

12 Minutes

I've been looking for something for awhile.  Maybe I didn't realize I was looking for it.  I don't know.  I think I was hoping there could be something, but I wasn't sure.
And now I've found it.
I've seen these videos on facebook for awhile.  I think I had "liked" the page some time ago.  I'd watch this woman and was impressed.  She is so in shape.
Over the weekend I actually did some more clicking and found out more about the page.  They have hundreds of workout videos.  Here's the catch, most of them are only about 12 minutes long.  And the people in the video are way more in shape than me and are always working up a sweat!  I was interested!
I've been spending so much time trying to build up my knee lately, that I don't have a lot of time to work on the rest of me.  For those who haven't worked to build up a knee ligament, let me tell you that what I've learned is that this has to be continuous!  I had worked so hard last year.  I got up to where I ran that mile for my birthday - my big birthday goal!  I was limping quite a bit afterwards, but I had made it!  Then with the holidays and being sick, I did nothing for my knee for many weeks.  And it showed.  Note to self:  keep working on knee!!!  Always!!  I feel like I went back months and months from where I had gotten to.
So anyway, yes, after spending 20-40 minutes working on my knee, I really don't have lots of time to do much else.  Nor do I want to!  By that time, I'm sweating and sore and just want to take a shower.
Ok, so enter these videos.  They have a 30 day free trial thing.  Then it is 9.99/month after that.  Sounded pretty reasonable to me.  Because if they could work my whole body in 12 minutes a day, that is totally worth 9.99/month to me!  I can give up 12 minutes.  Hey, I think I lose that every day trying to remember what day it is ;)
Saturday I started with a beginner video, it was pretty easy.  Sunday I did a beginner video also, not bad.  Sunday night I was sent a link to join their two week challenge with a different set of videos.  So yesterday and today were more challenging.  Holy cow!  Let me tell you, if you don't think you can work your body well in 12 minutes, come to my living room tomorrow morning!
The hardest part was later today when I was at people's houses; I had to walk up and down stairs and pretend my thighs weren't screaming!
Tonight I am thankful for finding Bodyrocktv (the facebook page) and Sweatflix (the video collection/app).  I've only four days, but I am loving this so far.  I still don't know for sure that I'll continue after the free 30 days.  But as long as these videos keep going like they are, I'll be in for sure!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Quite Costly x 2

It's hard to be different sometimes.  It's even harder to be different when you are in teenage years.
There is an event coming up that everyone is attending.  As far as I know, literally everyone is attending.  This past weekend, my child made a very grown up decision not to attend.
I want to state first of all that I absolutely love our school!  I really do.  But I kind of felt like Raymond from Everybody Loves Raymond in the episode where his daughter's friend has a birthday party that demands the attending girls buy a specific, fancy dress.  There is a particular school event that is quite costly.  And it is not an event that I would feel comfortable letting my child attend without me.  So that would be "quite costly" x 2.  And looking to the future, I have four children.  So now we are up to 4 x ("quite costly" x 2).
My family of 6 could do the same event for much less than 4 x ("quite costly" x 2).  And we could choose which details go in to the event.  So somewhere around last spring, I decided that we would not pay for this event.  I did tell the children that if they wished to attend the event, they could save up the money themselves.  And if they did that, I would pay my share of "quite costly" to attend as a chaperone.
I have had a child working on saving this amount for several months.  But, here's the thing . . . I've seen this child when driven by personal motivation.  And I wasn't seeing it in this endeavour.  Which, as a mother, makes me wonder why the child is working towards this goal?  If it isn't a personal goal, then why is it a goal at all?  Is it because everyone else is doing it?
This past weekend the hubster and I sat down with said child and had a discussion.  We reminded the child that the decision was not ours.  But what was the motivation here?  And we all sat down and looked at the numbers.  There was still a bit of "quite costly" to be saved up in a short amount of time.  And with the rate that the child had been earning money, we calculated how much money could be saved by age 16 to buy a car.  Or whatever else was a personal dream.  So where did this event fall on possibilities of money usage?  But it was the child's decision, we did not veto chances for attending the event.
And here's the amazingly awesome part of this whole story . . . my child made an amazingly responsible and difficult decision!  My child made a decision that most adults (myself included on occasion) have trouble with - not spending money based on emotion.  And that is especially rough when it is teenage emotions for something that everyone else will be doing.
Tonight I am thankful that somewhere along the way my child has grown up and is making very good decisions!  There will be many more difficult decisions in life.  But if this big one was any indication, this child will do just fine!
P.S.  while the event is occurring, my child and I will be doing a few fun things ourselves.  And maybe taking out just a little bit of the hard earned money to have some well earned fun!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Day It Changed

I remember the day I felt like a huge a*# for complaining about life.  Do you know those kind of life defining moments?  And how they sometimes happen so quietly that you could miss them if you weren't paying attention?
That's what this was.
I was used to working a lot.  I've worked a full time job plus a part time job, plus went to college full time at night.  I was busy.  When I had my first mentor to train as an appraiser, I worked for free because I got to bring my two kids with me.  So I also worked a full time, paying job while I learned while working for free.
But when I had my own business going strong, took on more and more work, and had four children under 6 at home, I was losing my ability to handle things with quiet dignity.  I did feel blessed with four healthy children and a job that could work around them.  But four young children and working well over 50 hours a week was wearing on me quick.
Then I had that moment.
I was venting/complaining.  I was so tired.  I was so over-worked.  All I saw was my unending list of things that needed to be attended to immediately.  Honestly I don't even remember who I was talking to, although I have an idea of who it was.  They were fairly quiet.  Then they mentioned just a few things.  They had less children, but were working just as much, for less money.  And their situation was not headed to a happy ending.  And it hit me like a ton of bricks.  As rough as I thought I had it, there were many who had it worse.
Does their situation being worse make my situation any different?  No.  But it makes me different.  Life is just a small percent what happens to us.  Life is a lot more how we handle what happens to us.  And that day, I changed.  I knew I had a lot to be thankful for.  And instead of focusing on how much I still had to do, I started trying to focus on the things that I had to be thankful for.  I looked at how much I had done already and cut myself some slack.
The truth is, if you spend your time looking at a problem, the problem is all you see.  When you spend your time talking about a problem, the problem is all you think about.  And when you spend your time listening to others talk about the problem, the problem is still all you think about too.  Nothings gets better that way.  You just get dragged down.
Tonight I am thankful that being thankful brings peace.  It brings contentment, happiness, and confidence.  And those things can solve problems.



Saturday, January 21, 2017

Not Tonight

My house has been so busy lately.  There is a lot on the calendar for activities.  The hubby and I have been working a lot.  There is just too much busy.
Tonight I was going to be working at my desk here.  I have piles of papers sitting here waiting for me.  But I didn't.
We sat in the living room, as a family, and watched a movie.  Such a simple, little thing.  But it was so enjoyable!
Tonight I am thankful for our family movie night tonight!  We need to make this a priority more often!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Improving

Last night, I actually got a good night's sleep!!
I'm not a person who normally has sleeping problems.  I tend to keep myself so exhausted that I fall in to bed and start snoozing.
But this hacking, persistent cough has gotten worse every night when I lay down to sleep . . for weeks, like over a month now.  Most nights I get back up and do more work until I start falling asleep at my desk.  I was honestly afraid they would postpone my eye surgery over this even (which they didn't of course).
I've tried several different things.  Finally this week I went back to the doctor's office, again.  More rounds of tests for me.  And two different medicines for me, this time much stronger.  And finally . . . finally last night I slept well :)  The cough is still here, but it is fading.  Hooray!
I can't help but think that if I could rest better, this wouldn't have grown in to such a thing.  But, I tried.  I really did.
Tonight I am thankful for finally seeing some improvement in this cough!  I can't wait to sleep tonight and see how it goes!  This is a total 180 because in past weeks, I've been hating bedtime.  Like dreading it because I knew as soon as I laid down, I'd start coughing worse and worse.  Now, that is not the case!  Hooray!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Entrepreneur

Tomorrow is Consumer's Day for the third grade!  It is very exciting!
My little entrepreneur decided to sell multiplication cards.  He loves math :)
His vaguely-more-aware-of-marketing mother suggested that he give away a free bag of popcorn with each set of multiplication cards sold.  Fortunately he was on board with the idea!  See, I love that he loves math!  And I don't want to diminish that at all!  But I also don't want him to be disappointed if the other kids don't want to buy his multiplication cards.  So, there, we slid in a tasty incentive for the would-be-buyers!
All the kids were pretty excited because I haven't made lots and lots of popcorn in awhile.  I dusted off (well, actually washed the dust off) the whirly-pop and got to popping!  My boy is pretty excited for tomorrow!
Tonight I am thankful for my whirly-pop, which makes lots of popcorn fairly easily and quickly!  I am thankful for my boy being on board with the popcorn idea!  And I'm thankful that tomorrow will be a great day for him!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Role of a Woman

I've always had a problem when people infer, or just flat out tell me, that I should do something "because I'm a woman".  It started with "because you're a girl".  And ya know, as I've aged, so have the expectations.
There are things that, as a woman, are logically different than a man.  I had the children.  The hubster couldn't do that.  I have one more article of undergarments that I put on every day.  And I see a special doctor once a year to check on my health.  These things make sense.
Things that don't make sense are things like when I was told I should be afraid to go out by myself to places.  I was told I should leave the heavy lifting to the boys.  It was inferred that I should be less of myself so that a man could feel more like a man.  I was told to sit in a meeting and not talk, but to tell my male boss my thoughts after the meeting.  I was told to fill the drinks in a meeting with all men because I was the female.  Nope, these things don't make sense to me.  Why?
Why couldn't I go out by myself?  I can fight.  Better than most actually.  And I am a pretty good shot when I have a gun.  Lift heavy things?  I can do that too.  Sometimes it is brawn, sometimes it is brain.  Point A to Point B with something heavy can be done a few different ways.  Be less of myself?  Because someone else isn't as much of themselves?  Um . . No!  Sit in a meeting and not talk?  Really?  Then why would I attend?  If I'm there, I'm talking.  Period.  I may fill drinks once to be nice.  But I expect the men to do the same when my glass is empty.
Feminist?  I really don't label myself as anything but logical.  These other ideas simply don't make sense to me, so I won't live by them.
Guess what?  I'm raising my kids the same way.  My girls won't wait to be saved by a knight on a white horse.  And my boys won't be looking for a damsel in distress to save.  I pray that all my children grow up, and if they fall in love; that they fall in love with someone who will be their partner in life, equally.  Of course any good partnership is made up of two parties with differing strengths.  And that is to be expected.  But I pray that they will have someone to be their friend as well as their love, supporting each other always.  And yes, we talk about that already.  They aren't told that they have to get married.  Some people don't.  But I hope that if they do decide they want to share their lives with someone, that they choose wisely.  God gave us a heart and a mind.  We talk about using both.
We talk about it now.  We talk about respect.  We talk about honesty.  We talk about accountability.  And I pray they remember these talks as they grow and make their life decisions.
Tonight I am thankful for a chance to talk to my kids, to build them up, and to have them learn and remember that men and women, although inherently different, should always walk side by side.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Wet

Some days, while I'm driving around to appointments I have so many thoughts of what I should write my blog about.  It is nice to be looking forward to writing about good things that I am thankful for!
The problem with days like today is that I get to the end of the day and I am pretty exhausted and can't think of all the ideas that I had during the day!
From the side of the day looking back, I am thankful that roads weren't as bad as they could have been by the time I had to leave for my first appointment of the day!  I had a lot of driving today!  So I'm glad things were wet with just spots of slushy by the time my tires were on the road!
I have been meaning to get new front tires for a couple months now!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Fuzzy

I like hats.
I like baseball hats.
I like cowboy hats.
I like all vacation style hats.
I like winter hats.

I really have enough hats for one person.  BUT, since my kids "borrow" my hats, that is a good reason to increase my collection, right?  ;)  Come on, come on, just nod and agree with me here!

Ok, now that you're on board, I'll tell you that I've had a little crush on a hat.  I first saw it weeks ago.  It was hanging out in the clothes section of the store.  It wasn't in with the other winter hats.  It was so fuzzy!!!  Just the next day I was in the same store and thought maybe I should try on the hat.  And it was GONE!  Just gone!!!  I looked all over for the rack with the fuzzy, cute hat and couldn't find it.  *sigh*
I told myself it was all for the best.  I really didn't need another hat.  And I thought the price was a little high for a hat that I did not need.  Since then I've thought about the fuzzy hat.  And with every thought, I've reminded myself that I don't need another hat.
Tonight I was at the store again and wandered down the aisle that holds scarves.  I thought maybe I should get a warmer winter scarf if they are marked down yet.  And lo and behold, there was the fuzzy hat!!  And it was half off!!  So, half off, the hat was $9.
And here's the rest of the story - I had just came from the pharmacy where I received a $10 coupon off anything in the store because I had just filled a new prescription!  Oh yes, are you following my math???  The fuzzy hat is now MY fuzzy hat for FREE!  Woo Hoo!
Tonight I am thankful for finding the missing fuzzy hat in the store!  And I am thankful for pharmacy coupons just for using the pharmacy!  And I am thankful for my new fuzzy hat :)


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Ready

Here is a one week check-in from my post about meal prepping for the week.  The family was quite excited to have food prepared and ready to go again!  I guess it had been awhile since I'd done that.  The only thing I missed was pull-out containers in the fridge.  I noted today that we did have a few things get lost in the back of the fridge during last week.
As I looked at the upcoming week, I shared the schedule with everyone.  It's pretty busy.  So it would be smart to have food prepared ahead again!  Today we went over and beyond from last week.  And, I am happy to say, we also have went healthier!  And we have the pull out containers for the fridge.  Even better is the fact that the family helped more this week.
I made the dinner menu up with easy dinners for the week.  Seriously, the schedule looks way too full for a still-recovering-and-tired mom like myself.  So the crock pot will be my good friend this week.
Tonight I am thankful for a plan for food for the week.  When I wasn't prepping the food, it sounded like so much work.  Two weekends in a row now of a little extra time, it feels like a huge relief and one less thing to worry about!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Best Foot Forward

About two years ago I had made a decision to make a big career move.  I was going to take my Real Estate Salesperson license up to a Broker license and open an outlet of the brokerage I was working for out here in my area.
There were several reasons for this decision.  A big one was job satisfaction.  As a Real Estate Appraiser, I enjoy the actual work itself, . . the problem is the rest of the stuff that isn't really about valuing houses.  It is the "rest of the stuff" that is cited for the reasons that a lot of people leave the business after decades.
My appraisal business is good and has been good for my family in numerous ways.  But where do I want to be in 5 years?  10 years?  I want to be happy.  I don't want to be chasing ridiculous turn times or being blamed for ruining peoples' lives when I'm just doing my job.  I know there are downfalls to every job, but really appraising is a thankless job.  People only call when they want to complain.  In 12 years now, I think I maybe average 5 - 10 compliments per year.  From hundreds of files per year, that isn't a high ratio.  The complaints are much higher - and they are generally unjustified.  I ask the complaintants, tell me what I missed; show me the market data that you believe is missing from the report.  I can remember only a handful of valid answers . . in 12 years.
Ok, so I made this decision around two years ago.  I signed up for classes.  And I struggled to get them done.  Really struggled.  It was very bland information and I was doing it in my spare time, which there is never a lot of.  I had to get a few extensions on my classes.  Finally I finished!  Hooray!  I took my state test.  I passed!  Hooray!  And then I began all the other legal stuff required. That was about a year ago.  I had a wonderful agent sign under me and things were under way!
Then I stalled.  The appraisal business was booming.  I saw how much help that boom could be to getting my family more secure.  And the first year of Ethos Real Estate West floated by without me doing a lot of the things that I wanted to do with the business.
So here I am with the beginning of year two.  This year will be awesome!  All those classes I had to take were good.  But I didn't get a lot of the information that I wanted to know.  These past few weeks I have now been finding the information that I want to know!  Last year I searched the internet.  And although the internet is a great tool, it still isn't as good as books!  I'm excited.  It's hard to put a good step forward until you have a clue where you are stepping to.  Now I have a much better idea and vision for where I want my next steps to be!
Tonight I am thankful for my resting time today.  (I'd be lying if I said I rested all day.  Because really, I'm not good at resting.)  But I am thankful for the time I rested!  I sat in bed under my nice, warm blankeys and finished my research - for now.  Much more information is available for the future.  For now I've got some exciting work to do: to put together all this great information and make some good decisions!  I'll start on that during tomorrow's resting time ;)


Friday, January 13, 2017

Silver

After last night's blog I received a message from a sweet lady offering me some colloidal silver.  I have read a few things about this stuff awhile ago and was quite interested.  Honestly, I don't remember why I didn't get any when I read about it . . probably over a year ago now.
Tonight I tried some.  And I'll have some more tomorrow.
Tonight I am thankful for my generous, caring friend!  I am so tired of being sick.  Hopefully some rest this weekend and some silver will be just what I need!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Weekend

Have you ever done something that you knew was kind of stupid, but you felt you had a good reason to do it?  Then later, when it bites you in the butt . . .well, you kind of knew that you had that coming?
Yep, that's me.
All those years of not enough sleep.  I did it on purpose.  I was working a lot.  And I had good reason to work so hard.  All the while, I knew I needed more sleep.
I thought I was paying for it with the whole thyroid stuff last year.  I took great strides . . well moderate strides to correct some poor lifestyle stuff; like more sleep, less pop, etc.  I found some other good things.  I actually found an excellent essential oil blend for thyroids!
 For the last month though, this pneumonia and now lingering bronchitis stuff is teaching me a lesson.  I do not listen to my body enough.  Even working to fix my thyroid, I set my sleeping for 7-8 hours.  Sometimes a body needs more than that.  But I rarely get any more than that.  Mostly, if anything, I'd get less.
Now my body is screaming, it needs rest!!  This bronchitis cough will not go away no matter how much water I drink, no matter how many vitamins I take, and no matter how many good-for-bronchitis-removal foods that I eat.  This weekend I am planning to stay in bed as much as possible.  My body will thank me for that.
Tonight I am thankful for a chance to listen to my body that is only mildly irritating and totally curable.  Tonight I'm crabby, tired, and a bit on the whiny side.  So I'll be thankful that some good sleep and rest will help . . . I just have to wait until the weekend!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

No Goggles

It has now been one week and one day since my Lasik surgery!
I went in today for my one week appointment and everything is healing up well!
But here's the best part . . it started last night.  I didn't have to wear my goggles!  It is really more like a form of safety glasses in my opinion.  After surgery, I had to wear them the rest of that day.  And then at night for the first week.
I totally get why.  I mean, who knows what a person does in their sleep.  The first night, I took off my goggles and chucked them across the room in my sleep.  I woke up and freaked out a little that I couldn't find them.
BUT, they are hugely uncomfortable!  They have made me wake up several times a night for a week.  I want sleep.  I want my eyes to heal up nicely.  And it is very hard to do with plastic trying to puncture my skull while I sleep!  Did I mention that I move a lot in my sleep?  That is a fact that probably belongs here.
Anyway, last night I was so excited to go to sleep!  I took a picture of myself (ok, so not sleeping yet) and sent it to the hubster, who was watching the presidential stuff on tv.  It was hard to go to sleep because I was so excited about sleeping without goggles!
Tonight I am thankful for sleep without goggles!  I hope to fall asleep much more quickly tonight, since it is now the second night of no goggles.


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Fuel

When I graduated college, my mom gave me a little plaque that says something like "Success is made of several small victories, most of which no one knows anything about".  I seriously just had the thing sitting at my desk a few days ago.  And now that I want to quote it for my blog, I can't find it . . .
Anyway, no matter the wording, the point is still the same.
It's good to keep your goals in front of you, to know where you are going.  It's good to also allow yourself a little lee-way, because life happens.
As I was driving in the slushy snow today I was reflecting on quite a few little things in life lately.  I dream big.  And that makes it easy to get overwhelmed sometimes.  That is when the small victories really count.  I've never climbed a mountain.  But I was guess that while climbing, you just keep looking at your next step.  The next footing, the next place for to secure yourself on your way to your goal.  Me, being me, would look up every once in awhile to see how far I have to go.  And me, being me, would look down to see how far I'd climbed.  But most of the looking would be right in front, and slightly ahead, where am I and where do I go next.
Tonight's blog may sound a little vague because there a few different little things that I've noted to myself today.  I could pick just one, but tonight I'm thankful for all the little victories.
Yes, tonight I'm thankful for all little victories.  They are all leading down a good path.  I hope you take time to note all of your small victories too.  They are the fuel that keeps you going strong!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Creative (Desperate)

Sometimes as a parent, I make up silly rules just to make a point.  Today was one of those days.
I have a child who is at that age where somehow the brain clicks off a filter and I get a comment for everything.  Not just me, the entire house.
If a sibling states that they are hunger, there's a comment.  If the daddy of the house says to come sit down for dinner, there's a comment.  If I say to be quiet, there's still a comment.  And most aggravatingly of all; if someone else is in trouble, there's a comment.
After several warnings and a few non-effective punishments, today was just the last straw for me.  So I decreed, that the loose-lipped child would now get to partake in everything that there was a comment added to.  This was close to 5pm.
There was a good run of comment-less behavior.  Well . . . I was in my office for awhile.  So at least I hadn't heard any comments.  But then, before bedtime . . . the peaceful streak ended.
A little boy was having difficulties locating his socks to lay out for getting dressed tomorrow.  He was getting frustrated.  And when he was told a.g.a.i.n. to go find his socks, I heard another voice "Yeah, go find your socks!".  That was it.
The comment adding child already had clothes laid out for tomorrow.  But, a rule is a rule.  So the offending child had to go find another pair of socks in addition to the ones that were already out.  Then I saw a moment of reflective thought cross thru young eyes.  And so it begins.  I have a feeling this new rule will work amazingly well.  Yes, I have very high hopes for this.
Tonight I am thankful for creative (a.k.a. desperate) parenting techniques that really won't be found in a book anywhere . . . but that work!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Food

The kids have completed over four months of school now.  And I will be the first to admit that I've pretty much sucked at preparing food for them.
Truth be told, the kids are old enough to get their own food in a bag and take it to school for lunch.  But let's be honest . . . they are kids.  So they want to throw candy in a bag and head out the door.  I've audited some lunches.  But overall I haven't been too concerned this school year.
Then I got a call from the school last week.  Both of my girls have the unfortunate situation of inheriting my irritating low blood sugar.  Of course, this can just be an irritating thing in life when proper care is taken to plan diet and eating times accordingly.  One girl is doing much better this year with this.  One girl is not.  
We had a big chat about this last year and things had seemed to improve.  But this year, I haven't been paying attention.  And we are in the same spot again.  So we had another talk about it.  And I found a renewed purpose to be a little more on top of school time food.  
This morning I left the house on a mission!  I got groceries with more than just dinners and "other food" in mind.  Tonight I spent hours in the kitchen prepping food for the week.  And viola!  My kids now have plenty of food and snacks that are healthy and even blood sugar level sustaining in nature!  Here's to a better week of eating for my kiddos!
Tonight I am thankful for the time today to get back in line with food.  Lunch is just the start.  We have better breakfasts here now.  And I will work on a few more choices as the week goes on!  We'll get this!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Didn't Really Want To

I may change some people's opinion of me with the next sentence.  I've never read Harry Potter books.  And I've never seen the movies.
I have nothing against Harry or the stories.  They just aren't really the kind of thing that I read when I have free time.  Besides the fact that I rarely have free time.  And most of my "recreational" reading pertains to real estate or finances.
So, when my birthday boy decided that he wanted his birthday outing to be going to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, I really wasn't super excited.  I always do the birthday outings with friends because . . . well because I'm the more patient between the hubster and I.
Tonight was the night.  I had steeled myself with the fact that I probably was not going to enjoy this movie.  But, I always love a good tub of movie theater popcorn, so there was some comfort.  And I had a group of good kids to enjoy this evening.
Tonight I am thankful that I did actually like the movie!  I was rather surprised that I did.  But it was really good :)  I give it two thumbs up!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Spinning

I was warned with this Lasik procedure about lights.  Halo effect is what they called it.  And so far, it has been the most headache inducing thing - for the record, still not bad enough to make me regret anything!  This is temporary and the vision correction is permanent!
Anyway, so right after the surgery, it was everything . . my cell phone screen, light reflecting off metal . . everything.  It is slowly getting better.  But tonight I was out driving after dark.  The headlights in the dark just for about fifteen minutes thru town and back home had me nauseous by the time I got home.
I had picked up two pizzas for dinner tonight.  I handed the boxes to a kid and went to get groceries out of the car.  By the time I got in the door I had a child in tears.  The pizza boxes had dropped and one pizza was claimed by the dogs as soon as it hit the floor.  One pizza was saveable.  It wasn't the end of the world by any means.
With a spinning head and tummy I tried to comfort the upset child.  Another child had too much attitude.  And the other two children were ignoring everything, including the call to come eat dinner.  I stumbled to my bed and hid my spinning head under my pillows.
I rested for a bit and the world stopped spinning.  The children calmed down.  Two of them went off to the Girl Scout cookie kick-off - sales start Monday if you want any!  The other two played well together.  And I got to spend some quality time in my bed until the world could hold still again.
Tonight I am thankful that eyes will heal all the way.  I am thankful that pizza is replaceable!  I am thankful for side dishes when the family has to share one pizza!  I am thankful for a fun cookie night for my girls.  I am thankful for a fun Pokemon night for my boys.  And I am thankful for quiet moments of needed rest to calm down after an eventful evening!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

A Week Off

Do you want to know how to find motivation to exercise?  I'll tell ya . . . have someone tell you that you can't!  After the pneumonia and the bronchitis (which seems to want to hang around still), and a cold, I was back in my basement gym for a whopping two whole days.  Now on the list of what to do after Lasik is "no exercise for one week".  It's just one week.  I can relax for one week.
No I can't!  I think about how I've already lost 15 pounds from healthy choices and exercise.  I finally seemed to have rounded a corner with this thyroid crap!  I'm on the right track.  And no . . now I'm back on my butt.
Tonight I will celebrate small victories.  Yesterday I wore a size smaller jeans.  Today I drank a ton of water.  If I'm going to be resting and working, I can be hydrating!  And I will be thankful that one week will be by in no time.  Then I'll be back working up a sweat and seeing my body do what it is actually supposed to do when I exercise it and feed it healthy foods!  In the meantime, I'll relax.  I'll rest.  And I'll let my eyes heal . . they are worth it!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Day After

Tis the day after surgery and I am weirded out!  My eyes are tired.  They want to rest.  Normally when they feel like this, I would take out my contacts and put my glasses on.  But now, there are no contacts!!
This is amazing :)  I am still floored that I can see like this with my own eyes :)  I am in some kind of transition phase I believe, where this just seems surreal.  My eyes have needed help for most of my life.
My day after surgery appointment went well :)  Everything looks good :)  And now I just play it cool for a bit and let my eyes keep on healing!  I'll be back next week to have my eyeballs checked again.  Maybe by then it will sink in that these are my eyes seeing all by themselves :)  It still doesn't seem real!  26 years fixed in one day . . . . crazy!!!
Tonight I am thankful for this amazing vision the day after surgery!  :) :)  I still can't quite believe it!!!
P.S. Does anyone want about four bottles of unopened saline solution?  I won't be needing those anymore!!


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Made It Thru! Or Lasik Part 2

Today was the day!!  I woke up bright and early this morning and got my house in order.  A day of rest for a mom is impossible.  I won't be able to drive, so if a kid breaks their arm at school, who do I have on call?  Did they remember all their stuff for the first day back to school?  Is all their after school stuff taken care of?  Do they have enough to keep them occupied to let me rest when they get home?
Then work.  As an appraiser, have I updated all my clients so they don't bug me today?  Did I get all my work done ahead of time?  Do I have things set up to notify people on new orders?  As a realtor, did I update my clients for time specific items involving today?  Have I let people know that I won't be available today?  Will the world keep turning today?
Alright, I felt I had done enough work to be ready for today.  So, then on to today!  Did I follow all the instructions that I was supposed to be doing the last few days?  Am I dressed ok, they said it will be cold.  Do I have all my hair back enough to not be in the way?  Silly me, of course they gave me a hair net.  And because I'm a girl, did I do my eyebrows recently?  Surely they don't care, but that should be done with people right in my face today.
7:30 this morning and I was out the door and on my way.  Everything moved along pretty well.  I kept on praying.  So here's what I haven't shared with you all.  There is a reason that I've been afraid of this procedure for decades.  I had a grandma that was legally blind.  She described to me before what she could and could not see.  But, just watching her . . . I didn't want that.  She didn't have a choice with her eyes; that was the way that they were.  But I do have a choice.  And what if a choice that I make with my eyes completely destroyed my vision?  If I had to see the world like she did, I could not live my life like I have it.  And I'm pretty fond of my life as I have it and my vision.
But as we all know, fear is a pretty stupid reason to not improve your life.  And it took the weeks of my eyes being intolerable of my contacts for me to face my fear and decide how I was going to continue to live my life; which brought me to where I was today!
I have prayed so much!  And I appreciate everyone who has prayed for me!  The only scary part was when they cut the flap in my eye and my vision went away.  They warned me it would happen.  Things were going as they should.  But that is what I did not want to happen!  I did not want my vision gone.  I stood in faith though.  Faith in God's hand in this procedure.  Faith that the doctor knew he what he was doing.  And faith that this was necessary to get where I wanted to be.
It was all rather quick, which is good!  I could see a bit, but everything looked like I was looking thru dense fog.  I came home.  I went to sleep.  I tried to sleep as long as I could.  I got up and did a few things.  I went back to sleep.  I'm up now for a bit, then I'll go back to sleep.  Every time I wake back up, the foggy haze in my vision is decreasing and decreasing.  By tomorrow morning, it should be all gone!
Tonight I am thankful for going thru with this!  I was going to have a glasses smashing party tonight!  But, I thought that would be fairly foolish since my glasses were not cheap.  And I can donate them.  I've seen things for that, so people can use the frames and just get their prescriptions put in.  Maybe I'll buy a pair of glasses at the Dollar Store and smash those later just for fun :)




Monday, January 2, 2017

Perceptions of Definitions

I was having a conversation this morning and inadvertently said something important.  Have you ever done that?  There are moments when you deliver great messages, intentionally.  There are moments when you try to deliver great messages intentionally, and fail.  Then there are those moments when you are just talking and say something almost profound that you hadn't thought too much about.
So I thought I'd share here.  The word budget has come up a lot around me lately.  And I've found a problem.  It was the same problem that I had for several years.
I have had my own business for almost twelve years now.  That makes 144 months of income that varies to any given number.  A budget was something that I dreamed of, but found absolutely impossible to do.  How could I sit down and make a budget for the month, when I had no idea what money I would make that month?  I could make a list of bills.  Yup, that was as far as I could go.  And I was stuck.
My breakthrough came one day when I was reading a stranger's facebook post online.  They didn't do a monthly budget.  Their income was like mine.  They did a weekly budget.  They planned from what came in that week.  So simple, yet effective!
I got caught up in this big idea of how all inclusive a budget should be.  The actual definition is "an estimate of income and expenditure for a set period of time".  I get to set the time.  I could make a daily budget!  Although that would be a pain for sure!
We started doing better when I changed my idea of what a budget is.  A budget isn't some beautiful, all-inclusive spreadsheet with every imaginable expenditure and all possible dollars.  A budget is telling your money where to go.  Every week now, we are taking out cash for groceries, allowance, etc.  The money left in the account has a place.  Each dollar goes to pay a bill or to save for the future.  The money is told where to go - that is our budget.  It is not set in stone.  It varies from week to week. It gets re-evaluated.  My ideas of a budget being set in stone and overbearing were wrong.  Just like to many other things in life, it is a tool meant to help us - not something to be a burden to discourage us.
Our simplest budgets in this house belong to the kids.  I made a comment the other day about the kids doing their own budgets.  My youngest commented that he did NOT do a budget.  I told him, "Yes you do!"  When he gets paid at the end of the week for the work that he did; he breaks up the money in to three separate envelopes:  Give, Save, and Spend.  That is his budget.  He decides where his money will go!  And on a day like today, he gets to implement his budget!  We went to the bowling alley today and the Spend folder money came along to have fun at the arcade!
Tonight I am thankful for a new definition of the word budget.  Have you tried to make a budget, only to feel discouraged and defeated?  I've been there.  Believe me!  Change your perception of what a budget should be.  Make it work for you!  All tools have a purpose and can be very helpful when you find your own groove with the tool!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Scared Me . . .

*Deep Breath In  *Deep Breath Out
I read thru all the material in my packet today for my surgery in two days.  I know that there are legal reasons why they must disclose all the things that could go wrong.  But, for the record . . . I don't like it!  BUT, it will not deter me.  Even reading thru the list, I knew I wasn't changing my mind.  But, I feel less confident.
Tonight I am thankful that I read thru the stupid list (yes I'm name calling because I'm that mature!).  Anyway, tonight I am thankful that I read thru the list today.  This gives me tomorrow to calm down and get all my confidence back!  36 hours until surgery time . . . 2017 will be the year I can see clearly all by myself!!