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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Counting down to Christmas

I love Christmas.  I'm pretty sure I always have.

The husband's job makes it difficult for both of us to be excited for the holidays though.  He works so much, deals with customers, listens to Christmas music all day long - you know the same loop of radio jingles for a 10 hour stretch and doesn't get very many days off during December.  So, needless to say, we have very different views of the Christmas Spirit.

The one thing I'm so thankful for is that we both really try to focus on what is important during the Christmas season.  We are just so thankful for what God is doing and has done in our lives...I can't imagine not celebrating his Son's birth.  Even though Christmas tends to be a bit intense - at least I know that when the actual 25th comes around - I will have my husband back and we can celebrate with family together.

The really crazy thing to think about is NEXT Christmas!  How will it work with a baby?!  How will we juggle daycare, my work and his extended schedule?  So many questions - and no answers right now.  That's okay with me though.  The thought of celebrating as a little family just makes me so happy.  And the thought of celebrating w/out being pregnant makes me happier.

Don't get me wrong - I am more than thankful we were able to get pregnant and I am now carrying our son or daughter, BUT I certainly do not understand all these people who loooooooooove being pregnant.  They must be crazy!  I wouldn't say I hate it, but I find it difficult to understand why one would love this feeling?  Oh well, to each their own I guess.  Perhaps somewhere along the lines of the 2nd trimester I will see the light.  Or maybe birth is so bad that women are just thankful for pregnancy?  Or maybe they normally feel bad so when pregnancy comes along they figure at least they have a baby on the way... I don't know?  Maybe some day I will  understand...

TWO Days...now almost ONE until I see my grandma and family.  I'm so excited!  I can't wait to celebrate Christmas ON Christmas with them AND BRIAN!  It just means so much to me.  I am sad that Brian will be away from his family at Christmas time and I know that will be hard on both him and his family...  but I really can't help but feel so happy at the same time to be able to celebrate on Christmas with my family.  AND have my grandma there...I just can't remember the last time that happened.  I know our time is limited with Grandma, so I love it when we get holidays with her.

Brief update on preggo-life.  It's week 16 and I still have limited energy.  When I get too tired I cry for really no reason at all.  I am not craving anything, however I DO have an appetite again so that's great!  I actually got to clean most of my house last saturday and I still can't believe that I had the energy to do that.  I have heartburn all the time and burb up nearly everything that I eat.  Gross.  I'm very thankful for TUMS.  They help me curb my grossness.  There are very few nights I sleep well, so I still go to bed pretty early and I sleep with this giant pillow called a snoogle. Oh - and my hips/hip-joint? has started randomly hurting...especially when I sleep in certain positions and I get headaches every day.

All of this to say...I AM feeling better now that I'm out of the 1st trimester and am looking forward to better days!  Most things mentioned above I already dealt with and are much less of a problem than feeling like death every morning, so a vast improvement.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

After over a year of trying...

I just figured I'd cut to the chase - haha!  I have held this in for long enough and have really been waiting to write about this for a VERY long time.  (well it felt like a long time anyway).

Since only a select few have been able to keep up with me or check in week to week, I figured I'd give a run down of how the first 15 weeks of the pregnancy have gone.  Some know much more than others at this point.  I have yet to decide how painfully...brutally honest that I'm going to be in written form.  After all, once it's out there...you can't get it back.

Weeks 1-5:  No idea I was pregnant.  No sick feelings.  No tiredness.  No signs.

Week 6: My cycle (so I thought) had started during week 5, however had abruptly stopped after 1 day. I waited 3-4 days for it to return, however no dice.  I told Brian and let him know that I would be taking a pee test once I got home from work.  Unfortunately for him he wasn't home, but I had to GO and I didn't want to drink a bunch more water and wait until he got home to take it.  The test was a digital one, so fool-proof!  So I took it out, did my thing...and waited.  {blink - blink - blink} then...NOTHING.  The darn thing shut off!  I'm pretty sure the battery died or something - NO answer.  Brian got home and I told him what happened.  So we weren't sure what to do.  Finally we decided to go to Walgreens and just get another test.  We picked up a pregger test - AND - an ovulation kit!! haha!  This is how convinced we were that I was preggo.  At 10pm I took the test - within less than 30 seconds we were staring at the word "PREGNANT" on the little digital screen.  We just kinda grinned in silence.  Umm...now what?  Bad idea to take a test at 10pm...because you can't sleep once it's positive.  At the end of the week I went to the doctor and sure enough they confirmed.  6 weeks along.

Week 7:  Morning Sickness.  Whoever coined the term morning sickness was full of it.  I have a feeling it was some self-absorbed male that thought the "sickness" was all in the woman's head, so if he labeled it "morning sickness" women would only think about it in the morning.  I call bs!!  No way - NOT morning sickness.  All day and evening dizziness and feel like you're gonna gag constantly sickness.  Take that self-absorbed male. Thankfully the drug Zofran exists.  I probably thank God for this drug and the doctor that prescribed it (and keeps refilling it) more than any other thing.

Week 8-9:  Blocked.  Ok...I will spare those sensitive readers the details for now, but lets just say things hadn't "mooooooooooved" along since I found out I was pregnant.  Remember back in week 6?  Ya, that was also the last time and food product escaped from my system.  At the end of week 8 (or 9 or something) I decided to take matters in my own hands and drink some laxative tea.  Cleverly named, "Smooth move" this herbal concoction promised to gently and safely get things moving.  I drank 8oz as indicated close to bedtime on a Thursday night.  At 3am - things were clearly happening.  4am - more things were happening, but my system was VERY stubborn.  I some how picture the scene in Lord of the Rings where Gandolf pounds his staff into the ground and yells at the firery beast, "You SHALL NOT PASS!"  The unfortunate part of all this was that I reeeeeeeeally felt like I HAD to go...but it wasn't until 5 or 6am did things actually start evacuating.  Then - the morning sickness kicked in and I started vomitting.  AWESOME!  What a gift!  Now I can't keep water down!  By 8am I was a shaky, shivering, crying, exhausted wreck of a woman.  Brian came down stairs to say good morning and he got a lump of nerves that burst into tears - wimpering instead of talking.  At the doctor's instruction - I went to the emergency room and proceeded to not only get rehydrated but to rid myself of the 3 weeks of "build up" in my system.  Pheww.

Week 10-13:  Smells.  Bloodhounds had nothing on me.  I could smell whatever was brewing in our kitchen the second I pulled into our driveway. And most good smell were really too much for me to take...let alone bad ones.  Smells affected me so much that we ended up sitting in the foyer at church one Saturday evening because some guy sitting somewhat near us splashed on too much cheap cologne.  Ridiculous.  Preggos are ridiculous.  I  must admit - there is more to weeks 10-12...however perhaps for another day.  Let's just say my trip to the hospital was not the end of my constipation woes.  Perhaps more on that later...

Week 14-15: Made it to the 2nd trimester.  We arrive at current day.  I have an appetite once again and things seem to be regularly moving through my system.  Thank God.  The all-day sickness has tamed down and I have some energy that I didn't have during the first few weeks of this adventure.  I am told that I will gain more energy and feel super good in a matter of a couple weeks.  I'm definitely looking forward to that!

So - there you have it.  A run down catching you up to current day.  I'm so thankful God allowed us to get pregnant, but at the same time I had no idea what I was getting into.  I'm pretty sure I still have no idea.  I'm definitely nervous about things to come, but more on that later.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I miss Blogging...

So, this post has to be short and sweet...but it appears I might have lost the 2 readers that I once had.  OH well - this is a nice way to document things that I feel necessary to write about.

I am well into my new recruiting job and it has been a roller coaster so far!  New hires, fall-offs, acceptances, rejections...the list goes on!  It's definitely been a challenge for me to keep up.  I work with a great team though, so that makes every day much more liveable.

There is SO much going on at the Schupbach household!!  We've been SO busy and the Christmas season will be busier than ever.  We have big changes ahead of us and are looking forward to the future.

I will be visiting Omaha this weekend, so I'm really looking forward to seeing family and friends. 

Ok must go for now, but will update soon!  Much to update!!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Perfect mix of productivity and relaxing

Saturday is such a key day in the week for me. I always find Saturdays to be difficult to plan because a part of me know the house and laundry need attention, another part of me wants to hang out with friends, another part of me wants to get through errands, yet another part of me wants to relax and be lazy. How do I ever balance all of these? I also have my 8th grade girls thrown into the mix some too!

It's so hard to figure out which things to say YES to and which things to pass on...because generally...I want to do everything!

This Saturday I went shopping at Walmart with a couple 8th grade girls. We were buying things for our church food pantry. It was pretty interesting watching the girls navigate the store and weigh-in on what they thought was best to buy the people in need. Among the items were hot chocolate mix with colorful marshmallows, a jar of pickles, nutella, and various types of name brand sugar cereals. I'm sure those shopping at the pantry this week. What a great thing to have jr. Highers do! Get them thinking outside themselves!!

Next up...I really wanted to go to the apple orchard with friends. However, unfortunately...I had a disaster of a house to attend to! AND a mountain of laundry to concur! Ok I admit, and a nap to take. I missed hanging out with the girls which I'm sad about, but did make a dent in the laundry and the house has found some kind of order. Praise the Lord!

Ok time for church! Yes!

No matter how I feel...God is faithful

I've reached the end of another week! This week went so slow! I just felt like it was dragging so much! It's my 7th week with my new company and I really was feeling like I wanted to get an offer! As a recruiter, there's a big focus on placing candidates. If you are not placing people it starts to get to you after a while. I am not expected to actually get any hires for another month, but it is nice if I do. WELL...it appears that I will have TWO offers on Monday! I'm terribly excited! It sounds like my candidates will accept the positions too...which is a big win!

Again, God continues to show up in my life. He continually shows me I don't need to worry about my situation or problems...He has a plan and it's perfect. Yet I still even today have struggled with being worried about the future. Maybe worried is not exactly the right term, but I just want to have a hand in controlling the future. You know?

You see, my parents and the hub's parents plus family are coming out to visit in November...how cool would it be to tell them we are expecting?! I know, it's just awful for me to think like that...but that's just where my brain goes. Even after God has shown me time and time again that He knows best and will take care of us, I still desperately want to grab the reigns from Him. Truth of the matter is, I probably don't even know the depth of what I am really desiring. To want kids...is probably a crazy wish...I'm sure of it! I really am trying to soak in and enjoy my time spent with Brian. I have observed what children do with your time and ability to go on dates and such. I'm sure it's a positive trade off, but it's still a major change in life and I try to remind myself of that each time my cycle starts over.

I do think that I have come to grips with the fact that we have honestly been trying for over year and have been unsuccessful. It's a weird feeling really. Definitely humbling. It's humbling because you can only do so much...then pretty much God has to do the rest. I have been more faithful about bringing this want to the Lord though and plan on continuing.

He has been faithful in the past and I know He has a great plan for our future.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Commuting in the rain.

So, the other day a friend of mine asked if I was enjoying commuting or hating it. After a long-winded response I came to the conclusion that I did indeed enjoy it. I am currently 7 weeks into my new job now and feel I'm settling in nicely. I still have no hires at this point, but am hopeful something will come through soon.

I continue to learn new things about commuting. For instance, if you choose to pay for parking with cash, always bring quarters because there are only 2 of 6 machines that take dollar bills and they are often not working...not to mention there's frequently a line at both of them. Also, choose a parking spot and use the same one EVERY time you park. No exceptions. Even when it's raining and you see a closer spot, don't give in to temptation, just go to your same spot. Reason being...you will more than likely be distracted by the rain and getting your umbrella up, so you won't look at the spot number of your parking space. I learned this today. I was standing in line trying my best not to get wet (not successfully) and realized I had no clue what parking space I had parked in. Then there's that sound...ding ding ding ding ding...Oh no! No time to go look at what spot you are in!! So, I just picked one that I thought it might be. I usually park in 542. I got a little closer, so I paid for spot 536. We will see what the outcome is. Another lesson is, don't sit in a broken seat...even if you think you can handle it until your stop. It's truly just too uncomfy and distracts you from the things you like to do during the ride.

I've decided to get a monthly parking pass. It just makes sense, I mean the last thing I want to do is stand outside in the bitter cold worrying about what parking space number I am. With a parking permit I can park wherever and not have to make sure I have quarters on hand each week.

As the fall and winter seasons approach...I definitely need to beef up my supply of coats, sweaters, and boots.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Recovering

Ok, 30 day review went well...I just need to keep working...harder. The online training portion is over, now in need to make calls! This is easier said than done. I seem to remember finding candidates being easier than this. I would feel much better if I landed an interview even.

There's this special incentive on these one positions...I can get an addition $100 gift card if I can fill one of them. The problem is, a bunch of people in the office already have candidates for the positions. (sigh). It's a very defeating feeling, but at the same time expect it. I am looking forward to 6 months from now when I'm more comfortable with everything. I feel like a lost child right now.

So, this past weekend was the Chi-Town Shindig! It was a great kick-off to another year in the Jr High ministry! It was amazing. I really wish I would have brought both my film and digital camera! Especially since I had very few pictures left on the film one. So sad. There's just something amazing about being around 1000 kids worshipping God. Those kids shook the very walls of Harvest's new downtown cathedral. It just makes me wonder about what the people outside of the church heard...or thought. Pastor James came down and gave a message directly to the students. It was really cool having him be a part of the night. There's just something about having him be visually excited about what God is doing in the student ministry. I mean, obviously he's interested...it's just not often that we get to see it first hand.

You know, another thing that was awesome is how well the night was planned. Things really went off without a hitch. The only thing, as far as I can tell, that was off was how long it took the buses to get downtown. It was great! Now, that being said, I do wish my 8th grade girls would have gone to sleep before 5am!!!

Sunday was a lazy day. Brian and I went to get his beer making kit, so when I come home tonight he will have freshly brewed beer in the 1st processing container. It will stay there a week then move to another container...then another week then to bottles. This should be interesting. More to come!

Now we are off to a busy week! Brian will talk to his boss tomorrow about his new job opportunity. We are praying it goes smoothly! He will either start next week, in October, or January...depending on what the outcome of tomorrow's meeting!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

End of week 4

Well, I've been at my new job for a full four weeks now and my 30 day review is today at 2:30. It's been a pretty adventurous 30 days. I mean, I started a new job, started a new diet (meaning eating healthier...and more often), and a new workout routine (which means I started to exercise on a semi-regular basis). I was going to throw "got pregnant in there too, but it would've been a cruel joke to the 4 people that read my blog.

The job is going well, I'd say. I think I have most the office people figured out and have my favorites picked out. I have a couple work-spouse potentials as well. Odds are I will end up with a work wife, which I'm good with. IT recruiting isn't exactly something you can just pick up and do and be good at. I was hoping these skills would come back to me faster than they are and I am anxious to become a productive a bit sooner than I am.

If in had to guess, and I am, I would say today's review will reinforcing that I'm a good addition to the team as well as a soft, but strong emphasis on the need to get me up to speed and productive as soon as possible. I do believe next week will mark the time that I start spending more hours at work. This won't last forever, but will last for a while. I knew it was coming, so now need to suck it up and step up to the plate. It's been a great honeymoon season! In think if I spend more time there I will also see results faster...so that would be cool.

Overall I'm happy with the job change because I'm excited about working again. This has given me a new thing to work on and be better at...and when I get better, I will make more money and that's always a good thing!

In other new Jr High is up and running, I have 8th graders in my small group this year...oh boy are they crazy! They're a ton of fun though, so I can't complain too much. The hubs and I are also part of a new small group for couples. It's with our good friend plus a couple of new couples. We met for the first time Wednesday night and it went really well. I'm really stoked about moving forward and building better relationships with everyone.

Well, I'm almost to work and I haven't even read a chapter in Judges yet (I'm reading through some Old testament books during my train ride).

I will follow up on how the review went.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

See you later...

I've never been great at good-byes. Honestly, I have been dreading yesterday for at least a week now. Last night was the last night our friend Cam would be staying with us. It's been nearly 6 months since he moved into our den in the basement. I just can't believe the time has gone so quickly.
When Brian and I first told him he could stay with us for a while...we really knew very little about him. We just knew that he was going through a rough patch and needed a bed, we could help with that! What we didn't have any idea how blessed we would be!
You know how sometimes you come home, look around and wonder, "How in the world did this house get so messy?" Having Cam around was the exact opposite. The dishwasher would always be unloaded, things would magically get organized, plus groceries would appear in the fridge! It never failed that when B and I had not clue what was for dinner, Cam would text us saying he had dinner under control.
Last night Cam brought home some great gifts for us as well...the best best thing he gave us was the gift card to eat out! There he goes again taking care of dinner for us. Hahaha
When it was time to say goodbye, we all hugged and shared some of the great things we all experienced through the last 6 months. There were awkward silences here and there, but overall it was more a feeling of "see you later" than of goodbye. It's really weird to think that he's not going to be there when I get home tonight. Bittersweet. We are so happy for him, yet will miss him at the same time.

We definitely wish him the best on his adventure in Spain. And can't wait to throw a Welcome Home party!

Friday, August 26, 2011

The day after. (written on Thursday)

The day after the 10 miles bike ride and I feel surprisingly okay...good even.

Yesterday I got up at 5:40am to catch the 6:33 train. Getting up and functioning wasn't easy. I'm still just getting used to getting up at 6am, so an even earlier alarm is not a welcome thing. My body likes routine. It doesn't like and reacts very negatively to changes, especially when that change happens in the morning. To help my body (specifically my stomach) to cope I popped a couple immodiums. I know I know, no one really wants to read about that, but it's my blog...and my IBS to work through.

I got to the office at 7:30 and shortly after was headed toward North Ave Beach by way of cab. We got to the beach and each were given our vehicles of torture (the bikes). I don't really don't know anything about bikes, but they seemed really nice. After a few humiliating photo-ops with the other office peeps, we were off and riding. We rode roughly 1/2 mile and pulled over to stop to wait for some to catch up. At that point I realized that this whole thing was a big mistake. "What were you thinking, Rach?" I thought to myself. My thoughts raced as e slow-pokes caught up, "how in the world are you going to make it another 9.5 miles?!" we pressed on.

The ride was beautiful. It was all along the path by the lake. It was a sunny day, the water and sky were blue, the city was in clear view. We reached the Shedd Aquarium and that whole area...it was our half-way-ish point. We stopped for a bit to wait for the slow-pokes. At this point I was a member of that group. A really frustrating part of this whole ride was that the rest of my office was a part of the front running group. Didn't they say this was a team outting? I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little sad.

I finished out the ride in just under 2 hours. Bleh. To be fair, we did stop for a few more photo-ops along the way which I'm sure greatly affected my time.

Overall, I am glad I did it and am glad it's over. I would like to take that route again though! It was soooo pretty. I've never seen the city from that view before. It reminded me of what a great city I live in (near). Maybe I will take the hubs request to buy bikes a little more seriously...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

First full week.

Well, here I am riding the train for the 7th round trip. My new job is going pretty well. My healthy eating choices are still pretty much on track, and I'm still trying to be more active than I have been in the past. The walk from the train to work and back definitely helps.
I still have second thoughts about making the job change. I talk to my replacement back at the old job and sometimes wonder, "what have I done?" Everyone I talk to assures me that I made a great decision and I, for the most part, agree with them...but there's this nagging hesitant feeling.
The people I work with seem very fun and hard working. This is a great combination! They also seem pretty laid-back too, which is crazy to me because it's a sales office! I'm sure there are plenty of conflicts that I am not aware of at the moment.
Tomorrow the whole office (actually whole corporate group) is doing a charity bike ride. The ride is 10 miles! The 10 mile option is actually the short option. Ten miles seems terribly ambitious for me. I haven't been on a real bike since I was in my teens! I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't nervous. I'm pretty sure I'm going to have a sore butt on Thursday! The craziest part is that we are to meet at the office at 7:30am, start riding at 8:30, be dine by 10:30....then at some point go back to the office and work a bit. Then go to a happy hour at 4:30/5ish! These people are mad! I have 2 more work days in the week!!
The good side is...there are people less in shape than me!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Last weekend

Generally I post for two reasons:

1) Something major in my life happens.  Not necessarily life threatening or changing or anything...just something is different about my life and I want to talk about it.

2) I feel like I have to post because I haven't in a long time.  In this case...my posts are probably pretty weak.  Much weaker than normal.

I completely spaced posting about my brother getting married!  I feel aweful.  I think facebook sometimes interferes with how much I write on this blog.  If I post pictures and comments on facebook about something, I just figure I'm done with it.  In this case, my brother's wedding is definitely something that I want to talk about.

The wedding was held at Christ is Lord church in Omaha,  NE.  I went to this church for a few years and my parents still go.  The weekend started off with the rehearsal dinner on Friday night where the families got to meet each other and all that.  After the rehearsal, we went over to Brother Sebastians restaurant.  I  must say that the tone of the evening was very...umm...different than I've ever experienced.  The bride's parents are very VERY reserved for sure.  It was rather hard to tell if they were excited...scared...in shock??  I think it definitely threw most of us off.

At the dinner I got to chit-chat w/ her Dad and he seemed to be pretty cordial.  I'm hoping that as time goes on, our families will naturally become more acquainted and meshed together.  Her parents did throw a nice brunch after the wedding day for Matt and Jess to open gifts.  I wasn't able to go, but my parents did and they had a good time.  Said Jess's mom made an excellent quiche!

The wedding was fun and beautiful.  Jess made the most stunning bride and Matt was decked out and looking great as well.  I had the privilege of reading during the ceremony, so that was cool.  They originally asked  me to stand in the wedding, however I declined thinking I'd be pregnant by that time. Heh...well...clearly God had other plans!  Her BM's had hairpieces though!!  All of them looked like they had long hair, it was blended SO well!  I just couldn't believe it!  How fun would it be to have long hair for an evening?!?  I totally want to try it now.  So - if anyone wants to try it with me...I'm in!!!

The reception had a candy-bar at it - filled with all sorts of yummy candies!  It was adorable!  The reception hall was cute and decorated nicely as well.  Their cake was chocolate and they served cupcakes to the guests.  Gotta love that!  The couple was so happy the whole night - it was wonderful to see.  I am a little sad that Brian and I didn't dance together.  He DID however come up and do the Cuban Shuffle with me - which kinda counts as dancing w/ me...  they played "our song" (our 1st dance wedding song) during the dollar dance, so we couldn't go up and dance.  And some of the dj selections weren't terribly dance-friendly, so I'm thinking we just never took advantage of the slow songs that were played.

Here are some pictures from the rehearsal and wedding...

 Matt and Jess at the rehearsal dinner
 This is the 1st time they're seeing each other on their wedding day!
 One of the 100's of pics they had to pose for! haha
 Waiting for the bride....
 more waiting for the bride - sharp looking GM though!
 even more waiting for the bride....great looking wedding party!
 There she is!!
 This is their cute cake topper - they had yummy chocolate cake, however I didn't have any because I had filled up on sweets at the candy-bar!
 The Candy Bar
 Even Mom participated in the Dollar Dance
 I love this picture of me and the hubs...only is it me or does he have 1 blue eye and 1 brown eye in this pic?
Jess and her flower girl dancin' it up!  The other little girl was a dancing maniac too!



Saturday, August 20, 2011

Untitled

I'm excited for the weekend! Mostly because that means I don't have to go in to work. Ha! As most everyone knows by now I started a new job. Despite the first day being a little rough for me...I do still think I made a good decision. The office, on the whole, is nice. I believe that the longer I'm there the more true colors of people I will see. All of the recruiters are women...which could go really well or really awful. I'm hoping for a "really well" situation. Only time will tell how all that works out.
God has totally been with me every step of the way though! My stomach has mostly accepted the change of schedule. My body is still getting used to waking up at 6am and catching the 7am train. I've gotten to were I can start eating my to-go breakfast (baggy of pops) 1/2 way through the ride downtown. Then upon exiting the train I crack open a V8 fusion. I'm trying to eat better now days, so that's part of one of my healthy choices. It actually might be working because I did notice having more energy throughout the day last week. We will see how next week goes.
Well, Jr. High Ministry starts up again this Sunday. I will be happy to see the kids, but sad because this marks the end of summer. I'm pretty much dreading to see what it's like to commute downtown in the winter! Today we have an all day training event for jr high small groups. I'm happy and frustrated at the same time about this. Happy there is a training, frustrated it's on a Saturday. I'm sure it will be fun.
That is about all that's going on for now. I'm going to use the rest of my Saturday morning to relax and do nothing!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Too Many Changes!

Ok, everyone that knows me know that I am a fan of changing things up.  I love trying new foods, new things, learning different things etc...  so it REALLY caught me off guard how much I was thrown off of my game on the 1st day of my new job.

Now, I've neglected to really write anything about the upcoming job change because I didn't want anyone finding out before they were actually supposed to, however now the cat is outta the bag and everything is a done deal.  I must say it was a much longer process than I planned on it being!  It wasn't an easy decision either, but in the end, I left my corporate job as the onsite manager at Allstate to go back to recruiting.  I did this for a number of reasons, but the bottom line is that the company I joined is at an exciting time and I wanted to be on the ground level of what's beginning there.  It's hard to explain in type, so I really won't attempt to...suffice to say I'm very excited about the opportunity at hand.  All that being said...I'm SCARED!!  HA!  I was feeling as fine as it gets in the weeks leading up to my 1st day.  I was nervous about leaving my replacement all alone, but the day had to come at some point.  Allstate will definitely be taken good care of by my replacement, so that made me feel better about moving on.  I never expected to have such a negative reaction to my 1st day though!

I set my alarm for 6am, made my lunch the night before, and made sure to set out the clothes I intended on wearing the next day.  Alarm went off and immediately my stomach was in knots.  My body knew something was different.  I struggled through the rough start of my day and got to the train station in time to park, buy my 10 ride ticket, and pay for parking.  Thankfully I got downtown earlier than the office was expecting me, so I took my sweet time getting to the office.  I arrived at my new building - looked up...all around...the buzz and noise of the city, all the people, new place, new things - nothing familiar...all at once I felt overwhelmed and like a lost child.  I frantically scanned the lobby for the nearest bench - nearly ran to it.  Sat down.  Took a couple deep breaths...eyes welled up... then I thought "RACH stop!  You have make-up on and you can't fix it!" I fought the tears back and blinked a few times - ran my fingers through my hair and glanced around as if to act like I'm waiting for someone.  "This is a mistake, you should've stayed in your comfy position, how can I get used to this?  What am I doing here??"  All these frantic thoughts went racing through my head.  The peace I had prayed for so urgently on the train had seemed to just slip through my fingers all at once.  I called the only familiar person I knew was in the office.  Thankfully he not only picked up, but came down to the lobby and bought me an iced tea.  Ahhh - tea...an instant comfort.

The rest of the day was filled with meeting new people and getting my computer set up.  It was boring, exciting, and overwhelming all at the same time.  My new boss and the office admin took me to lunch, so that was wonderful.  Everyone seems to be very nice.  I'm looking forward to settling in.

Also - in other news I have stopped only following the couch-to-5k plan.  I need variety.  Since I last typed I've done a couple Pilates DVDs and went jogging today.  I still do more fast walking than jogging, but I'm getting exercise, so that's good.  I'm making better choices about eating too.  I do my best to bring my lunch and not skip meals...which is super hard for me.

 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Exercise: day 2

Yesterday was a rest day, so that makes today a workout day!

Ok, so I didn't exactly do Day 2, Week 1 of the couch to 5k program today like I was originally planning. BUT I did, however spend 30 minutes of quality time with Jillian Michaels. Hindsight being what it is, I might have fared better on my own with the jogging/walking combo.

Working out with Jillian is like having not only your own personal trainer right beside you, but one who continually reminds you of how strong and able you are. You don't even pay extra for the encouragement! It's pretty awesome. She doesn't shame you for following the "modified/easier version" of the activity, yet she doesn't allow you to slack off either. She's a perfect balance of friend and trainer.

I'm not exactly sure what caused me to decide to work out twice in one week already? I guess I've been inspired by quite a few people around me that take such good care of themselves. I want to feel better about myself as well. Also, whenever I get a workout routine going I do tend to have more energy, eat better, and wake up refreshed in the morning. Right now though...it's difficult to get to sleep because of the pain my body is in. I get headaches because of the tension in my shoulder muscles as well...it's super annoying. I just keep thinking about the end result...maybe I won't be so weak.

I really don't mind being thin, but at times it's just sucks to be the sole weakest one in the bunch. I just don't like being the poor fragile one...it's enough that I have inconvenient GI issues at times. For once I'd like to have some type of physical endurance.

I know what I lack in physical strength I'm sure God has made up for it elsewhere in how He made me, so that's good...but heart-strength really doesn't help me open a jar when Brian is outta town! Lol

Well, now that I've worked in my body, it's time for my soul. Time to spend some quality time with my Savior.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

New challenges! Week 1 Day 1

K, here goes...

I've decided that I need to take action! I have groaned and complained and whined about how my waistline and tummy aren't exactly where I want them to be. Now before you go rolling your eyes at me, hear me out. If you know me, you know that I am indeed thin framed, however you probably don't realize that my midsection is the 1st/only place my fat has found a resting place. (well and my upper thighs too, but I would imagine no one really sees that part of me often). Adding fat to my waistline makes it very hard to find pants because what fits in the waist sags in the butt. Ridiculous. I know I know, those of you who struggle with weight are probably sick to their stomachs right now and playing the worlds smallest violin for me. But hey, I figure this is my blog to write about what I struggle with...if you think it's petty, that's totally okay with me. :)

A friend of mine suggested the couch to 5k for me. You must understand...I am close friends with 2 women who ran the Chicago marathon...the MARATHON! How intimidating. I have shot their friendly invites to run with them more times than I can remember. It's a wonder they don't ridicule me for even bringing up this whole exercise thing, I mean I have started more exercise programs than I care to share with you!

So, I've decided to take on a 60 day challenge and hopefully blog about my journey. Today was the first day. Week 1 Day 1. The couch to 5k program. How terribly humbling. Couch to 5k? Really this is what I've come to? This morning I was reminded of how not in shape, lack endurance, and how NOT flexible I am! Lol, this should be fun, right?

Today it was 75 and humid outside. I set out for my 5 minute warm-up brisk walk. As I passed the houses in my neighborhood I thought to myself how goofy I must look. Haha, ok 5 minutes were up, time to start jogging for 90 seconds. Complete! Ha that was easy and kinda felt good. Now walk for 60 seconds. This seems good too, gives me a chance to figure out where I will run next. Jog 90 seconds...and so on. After 15 minutes of this the regimen started to look like jog for 30 seconds and walk for 3 minutes. {{{eye roll}}} a lesson in humility. I must start somewhere. I'm just glad it was early enough on this morning in Palatine for no one to really be out and about to see me drag mayself back home on my self-imposed 10 minute cool-down walk.

So there you have it, day 1 of week 1. What have I gotten myself into?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Not what I expected.

 WOW!  It's been FOREVER since I've written!  Lots has happened, but I will just brush through the highlights.  I'm probably very rusty at my writing, so stick with me!

How many things in life actually end up how we expected?  I know that in my life lately there have been quite a few things that have come up unexpectedly.  Both good and bad things, you know?  Sometimes I feel like God has me on this Life 101 training program where He purposefully tweaks things to make sure that my own plans never really work out.  I won't say that "my" plans are always bad ones - or even good ones...

Isn't it interesting how plans can just change all of the sudden and it's no big deal? Last night our dinner plans were to make pizzas on the grill, but we had a gift card to one of our favorite places so we went there instead.  No-big-deal change.

Last week we went on vacation with the hub's family and ended up breaking down in the middle of Virginia somewhere.  Big-deal-change in how I thought things were going to turn out!

I guess that's why it's so important to life my life with an "open hand" as they say.  I never want to hold on so tightly to my plans and just completely miss what God has in store, you know?

My husband and I totally thought we'd be parents by now.  We went off b/c over a year ago and have probably been expecting to share 'some exciting news' with our families at some point in the last year!  Well, still waiting.  I'd be lying if I told you that it didn't bother me in the least bit, however the more time that passes the more I realize how little control I really have over getting pregnant.

I'm about to start a new job in August!  I am going back to IT recruiting.  I'm very excited about the people I'm going to work with and the company I am joining.  I'm sure there will be some expectations that will come up short, but overall I feel good about my decision to leave my current company.  It does make me sad though, to leave a company after being there 5 years. I'm also sad because I'm leaving behind some really cool people I've met through working for my company.  I look forward to keeping in touch with them, though! I'm sure I will write more later after I begin a new chapter in my professional life.  For now that's all.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

Since my Dad passed away in 2007 Father's Day hasn't really been the same for me (as you can probably imagine).  When I think back at all the Father's days I spent with him, I can't really remember a specific one.  I do remember how much he loved spending time with me no matter what the day.

Dad was one of the most stubborn people I know.  He was hard-headed, grumpy at times, and saw the world through the eyes of Fox News. "fair and balanced" he would quote.  From time to time he would rant and rave about how all our problems came, "The Democrats." I swear if there was an issue that he had to deal with you could rest assure he would some how loop it around to blame it on the Democrats. 

He also loved EBay.  That man would spend hours and hours looking at eBay.  eBay was among the very few things that could make him sit still.  Another was NASCAR races.  For a man who couldn't stay in one place for more than 45 minutes without getting antsy, it was amazing the hold that NASCAR had on him.  He would actually tape the race!  Can you imagine how many VHS tapes he went through?  He was a big fan of Dale Earnhardt, "the Intimidator."  the erie thing is dad looked a little like him.  It was kinda weird.  I definitely cannot see anything Dale Earnhardt related and not think of my dad.  I'm pretty sure a little part of him died when the #3 driver met his maker that fateful day. Naturally he started following his son, Junior, but it never really was the same.

Dad probably didn't experience a lot of love growing up.  Times were hard and they were poor.  His father was a cold, hard man.  I don't know much about my grandfather on that side, but I have to think there's a reason he's not talked about much.  Dad did make sure that I knew he loved me.  He would seriously call me every day.  Sometimes more than once.  He never left a message, just kept calling until he got me. He'd tell me in the cheesiest way sometimes...but he told me, and hugged me and kissed me.  The more years I am given on this earth, the more I realize what a treasure this was.  I had no idea the number of people that have never heard, "I love you" from their Dads!  He made sure in had cool stuff like cameras and video games.  He'd always make it clear that I was a smart kid and I could do anything I wanted to in life.  He pushed me to go to college and do well.  

I miss him.  I never really thought about the calls stopping.  Silence.  His specific ring tone never rang again after June 9th, 2007.  That was hard.  Shortly after I did get a new phone to stop myself from waiting for that blasted ring. It was such am annoying ring, how could anyone miss it??  

So, to all those out there who still have their Dads around...make sure you let them know you love them.  You appreciate their ridiculous attempts at showing their love, and you even love the stubbornness about them.  When someone is gone, some how all the annoying bad traits become endearing. 

The good news is that I believe I will see him again some day in Heaven.  That's another story for another time.

Happy Father's Day, Dad.  {{{points to the eye, makes a heart shape on chest with fingers, points to sky}}}

I love you.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Busy Busy!

Wow I've been busy lately! I can't even believe so much time has gone by since I posted last!

Where do I even begin?

When I last posted I was going to throw my sis-in-law-to-be a bridal shower...well it was wonderful! We had roughly 20 women there all to celebrate Jess! It was great to see her soooo celebrated! She was all smiles too, so I've gotta think she really enjoyed herself! ha! She did get 2 waffle makers...but I believe that was the only duplicate gift...I think anyway...

My trip to Omaha was great, as usual. It made me want to move back. I got to spend time with my brother and my aunt and uncle...niece and nephew as well...I just love them so much. It was really hard to come back to Chicago and start the daily grind again. I miss my family so much sometimes. It would be so nice to see them more often. My uncle reminds me some of my dad...so does my brother at times. We had a great time just sharing memories with each other. What a goofy family we are!


So, while at my brother's house, he showed of the stained glass window that he and my sister in law refinished! I have a picture of it below - it is SO beautiful! They bought it off Craigslist and cleaned it up and repaired it! How awesome is that?!?! They did an amazing job...I was SO jealous of their new "artwork" in their family room! Think I can ask for one for my birthday?? haha
Hmmm what else is there to share? Well, I have my grandma's 90th birthday party coming up, so that's exciting. The hubs and I are going to Chadron, NE for a family reunion soon where we will celebrate Grandma Morna's 90 years on this earth! I think God so much for her - she's possibly the most amazing person I know.

Ok - well had better wrap this up. I will attempt to keep this thing more up to date now that work has leveled off and my personal life has slowed down a bit. OH - one more thing though! I did end up giving the crabby quilt to my friend, she loved it, and it nearly went along with her nursery theme. Let's just say it didn't clash, so I was happy. Her baby is SO cute! What a little handsome man!

Ok - gotta run!

Friday, May 6, 2011

New focus.

So,

I've been in a bit of a funk lately...I hate it when life suddenly becomes "all about me". It's so awkward. I find myself running discussions about me this me that...and I wonder how any of my friends or family can put up with this. Thankfully...I don't think it happens too much, but when it does I'm sure it's annoying for everyone.

This week I turned 33. Crazy. I can't believe that I'm now well into my 30's. I don't know why it's so weird to me? It just is. I know in some cases I feel like I should have kids by now. I'm pretty sure the cat's outta the bag and just about everyone knows me and the hubbs are trying for a baby. If you are reading this, you know me, and you don't know that last bit of information - terribly sorry...I really did mean to tell you in person, but I either forgot when I had the chance or I think I already told you. Either way - I love you :) and meant to tell you! lol

This week was difficult and I think that's what's playing into my "all about me" week. Well I would suppose my birthday plays into it as well, so I don't feel awful about it - I just need to do some changing.

I've had no "quiet time". I think I will just skip over the other mundane details of the week and get to the real source of why it's been such a rough week. I've spent no time with the very one I call God. You would think by now He'd be a total priority every day, but I still struggle especially when I'm not attending a small group. I have a hard time just sitting down and reading the Bible on my own. I have a hard time admitting that honestly...but it's true.

I recently listened to a sermon a friend posted on her blog. It highlighted that it was our responsibility to getting OUT of any funk we might be in...by doing a few "simple" basic things. These are the notes I took while listening...

I want to remain aware of God's love.

Keep yourselves in the love of God. Keeping myself in the love of God is my responsibility...not my husband's, not my church's, and not my small group's job.

God works in us, with us, against us, or without us.

3 Ways to keep yourself in God's love

Build myself up in my "most holy faith" preach and apply in my own heart. Grow in my understanding of the gospel. Each and every day.

How do I do this?
- listen to worship music. nothing really lifts my spirits quite like listening and singing along with worhsip music...there's just something so fulfilling about it.
- praying - this is a little more difficult for me. I need a quiet environment for structured prayer. I do, however try to send up various prayers during quiet moments...
- wait for His mercy. This is really really hard. Wait? Who likes to wait? This is opposite of everything in me. I must remember - what I'm waiting for - makes ALL the difference.

All of this comes from the book of Jude. How terribly wonderful! I'm going to go see my best friend's new baby - named JUDE! What perfect timing!

This coming week I will have a new focus. Spending time in the Word is a must. No matter what! Even if I have to put off my craft room!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A New Toy

I absolutely love new toys! Who doesn't? There are very few things more self-fulfilling to me than opening a brand new digital/electronic gadget. Just like a child I will more than likely take it everywhere I go and show it off for weeks. I just get so excited over gifts...especially when they are higher dollar gifts!

I don't consider myself terribly materialistic, I just love giving and receiving gifts. My husband and I share that trait, so it works out great for us both. (except in terms of minding our budget constraints)

I recently received a new ipad2 for my birthday. I was shocked, speechless even. I couldn't believe my husband got one for me...he totally surprised me and it was wonderful. In the last 2 weeks I have spent more time in the App Store than I'd like to admit. I've discovered Words with Friends (another great time waster, but I still think it's valuable because it's educational...right?) and loads of wonderful free apps. Each time I download an app it's like getting another small gift!

Gifts like this can be used for the good or for the bad. In my case I think I've done an okay job of keeping a good balance, but I must say it wasn't easy at first. I admit...I took it to work so I could keep up with "words with friends" the first and second day I owned the iPad. This was a poor decision and has since stopped for obvious reasons. Another not great side of having this new technology is that I often sit right next to my hubs on the couch and play with the iPad, while he watches 24. I would not define this use of our time as "quality".

So, I'm on a quest to use this thing for some good. I downloaded a Bible app as well as a blog app. For the next month I'm going to do my best to go through a 31 day Bible study and write out my thoughts each day. Each day the study asks questions about the passage(s) that I will answer. I will post the passage I am reading as well as my thoughts and answers to the posed questions. I'm looking forward to this!

I hope my 2 followers are as well!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Crabs!

So, I follow this blog (sweetfloweret - it's posted in my links). Tina has the cutest things on her blog! I love the fact that she posts every day. She has quite the following too! So impressive and inspiring. I was on her blog the other day and she posted the most darling crab fabric! Now - truth be told I don't generally seek out crab fabric, but I thought to myself, "self - you must make something from that!" So - I ran out to the fabric store and bought some!

I'm making a quilt for my friend's new baby (mentioned yesterday). Here is how it's going so far. I've not made a square block quilt before, so I'm just learning as I go. It's turning out okay so far. I have 3 more columns to sew together then I can sew the rows together, then attach the back, stuff in the batting, and apply the edging. I'm a little nervous about applying the edge around the blanket as I've never done this before...but it will be a good experience I suppose. And my gift-ee is more than understanding when it comes to hand-made-with-love flaws. haha!

In other news I've come upon a new game. WORDS. Actually Words with Friends! I remember a few years back I was a part of an online scrabble game among 4 friends. Each of us would take a turn - then the game would go to the next player. It was so much fun! The problem with the game was that it would allow any "word" so once people realized this they made up all kinds of not real words to get points...so I quit playing. NOW this game is back and it won't let you submit bogus words. The only thing is, only 2 people can play during 1 game. You can have multiple games at once, so that's nice. I hope they upgrade it to have 4 people to a game, how fun!

Tonight is the last night of my small group at church. It's had its ups and downs. Overall I think it was a good experience and I'm looking forward to the next small group study. Lina announces what "it" is tonight! I can't wait!!!







Monday, April 18, 2011

It's been a while!

It's probably a good thing I don't have a regular "following" on my blog. There are going to be times where I don't update very frequently at all. Perhaps I would make more time if I had more followers? I'm not 100% sure that would really help though. So much has happened since my last post.

First of all, my friend Shannon had her baby. I just can't wait to get back to omaha and see Jude! What a great name, Jude. She told me it means "happy." That is SO AWESOME! How would you like your name to mean happy? Love it! I'm currently working on a quilt for Jude...not sure if I will actually get it done in time...but we will see? I have 2 weeks...well...3 weeks to get it done. Making a quilt for Jude would be a lot easier if I knew how his baby room was docorated. All I have is "vintage nautical." ...well hopefully the fabric I picked out remotely matches this theme. Jude was supposed to be here in May, however apparently he had other plans!! I can't wait to meet him.

In wedding news - My brother's wedding is coming up quick! The shower is just around the corner...also in 3 weeks. I'm busy preparing cute games and praying the restuarant will have it all together when we arrive. The invitations are sent out and I'm already receiving RSVPs! I really hope Jess is pleased. I really want her to feel welcome in our family.

Jr. High - Wow only 5 weeks left in the jr. high year...and we are not meeting for 2 of them (Easter and Mother's day). That only leaves 3 more weeks with my 7th grade girls! They're going to be 8th graders before I know it! YIKES! I can't imagine how their parents feel...they move through jr. high SO FAST!!! Small group - This week is the last week small group will meet on Tuesday nights. A friend of mine usually does a summer study and I really enjoyed that last year, so hopefully she does it again!

Family - The hubs and I are doing really well! Not sure if I mentioned it before but we have a roommate right now. I feel like more and more he's becoming part of our family. Seriously. I mean, he was a friend before, but in the past month or so...he's just become part of our lives. It's honestly been a great experience having him in our home. God has completely blessed us by him staying with us, and I hope we have been/can be a blessing in his life as well. A lot of people have commented on how "generous" it is - that we opened our home, but really...after all God has blessed us with...how could we not? It's only because of him that we really have everything we do. Well - that wraps up my mini update.

Hopefully I get more family followers! Have a great day.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Mall Adventure!

So, when's the last time you spent 2 hours in a mall with a 13 year old girl? How about 4 of them? Or even 8 of them? Sound crazy? Well, it might be...but really...it's just something I do. I wouldn't recommend everyone go running to their church and volunteer in the jr. high youth group, but really if you did it would change your life forever.
When is the last time you found yourself in a fitting room trying on a nightgown? haha! Well, I can honestly say this could possibly be a first for me. My friend Melanie and I took our small groups to the mall today and we had a blast. The only sad part is that we really only got to spend time with 4 girls each and hindsight being what it is...I think it would have been super fun to spend time with all 8 of the girls. So what's with the picture? Well, this is me attempting to look old and frail...there's not much in the way of props in a Sears fitting room, so a nightgown was really all I could come up with.

Melanie and I made up a list of things the girls had to dress up as - then take their pictures. I swear we could have spent another hour doing this...it was quite fun to watch the girls creativity.

To the right we have Bessie, the hippie. We couldn't do much in the forever 21 store because there seemed to be a store associate on guard at all times at the dressing room. Might I say that Bessie is a super fast clothes changer!
To the left we have Keri, Natalie, Lexy, and Bessie all as movie stars...I know - one can hardly recognize them w/ those sunglasses and such! Very bling and high-profile these girls are!

Can I just stress that you really haven't lived until you go shopping with at least 3 or more of these girls.

Next up we have the princess, the picture is a little off, but I think it works well. After visiting Jessica McClintok ALL of the girls have decided that THAT's where they're going for their prom dresses. (you're welcome moms and dads out there)

I will try to wrap this up as quickly as possible, but there is just SO much I want to say. The girls I spent the afternoon with have to be some of the sweetest, kindest, funniest, and innocent girls I know.
I've been their small group leader for going on 2 years now, and really I must say I love them so much. They make me smile whenever I see them. I swear when I'm with them I feel 20 years younger...well...that is unless they start talking about crushes and all that. Haha.

Ok I will post some more pictures because they're just so much fun.




Intense workout!
Bike race!!!!
Bestie Bridesmaids
The Playa
Ready for a ball!
Best girls ever - and that INCLUDES the ones not in this picture (you know who you are!!!)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Let the games begin!

It always seems like someone's trying to take my money! It's such a game of twists and turns...buy this, insure that...invest over here...give there.

Sometimes I feel like I could just buy one of those little spinner things and spin the dial to decide where it's going next. I swear it'd do a better job than predicting what is going to come up next!!

Ok - ok so life isn't THAT bad, but I'm frustrated. Roughly 6 months ago we refinanced our home loan. It worked out GREAT! We saved $300 a month by doing so...SO awesome, right? Well, not if you live in Illinois. In Cook county we have a special way of taxing people. The estimators of taxes say it's going to be "X" amount, so we do the necessary to put X amount in our escrow accounts. With cook county - it's actually 2 times X. Nullifying any savings on monthly payment at all. So, instead of saving $300/month on our house payment, it will go up $300. Which isn't THAT bad because it goes right back to where we were before we refinanced. So overall, it's not a horrible thing...just a rollercoaster to ride.


Ok - I feel better now. Thanks for sticking with me on that rant.

In other news - not sure if I mentioned it earlier, but we have a roommate. He's been staying with us now for a little over a month. At first I was a little hesitant, but it's actually going quite well. He's a good friend that has fallen on hard times, so we opened our home. I can't really explain it to those who don't know me - (ha lol as if anyone who doesn't know me reads this) but it's a total God thing. We love others because He deeply loves and provides for us. Despite this whole house payment debacle, God will provide what we need. Always. The 'roomie' as we'll call him is super helpful around the house. Now I know how the hubs feels! I finally know what it feels like to have a "fairy" around the house! A dishes fairy is especially wonderful to have. I leave for work and see dirty dishes around the kitchen - after work the kitchen is sparkling clean! Magic! You know what else is magic?! These newly acquired 'fairies' inspire the hubs to do more housework!


And might I add - he's doing an amazing job. Amazing. The hubs hasn't been this helpful around the house ever. I must say that the 2nd year of marriage is definitely better than the first!! I feel we're just more comfy with each other - and just work together better. Good times!


Well, that's all for now. Time to rework the budget!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday is fun!

Today’s post is all about how good life can be. I know it’s cold and gray outside, and I know that I am SO ready for Spring. I am definitely longing for sunny days again, but every once in a while I need to stop and think about how blessed I am. I mean REALLY!

I have great friends, I mean great! Great single friends, great friends that the hubs and I hang out with as couples…just the type of genuine people that cannot ever be replaced. The type of friends that are priceless, truly.

I have a great husband. Sure, at times we have our disagreements…and I’m always on him to make sure he’s pulling his weight in cleaning duties (which by the way he’s REALLY taking up more responsibility around the house YES!). When it comes down to it – he’s super sweet. Last Friday (after a loooooong emotional-crazytown week…thanks a lot hormones!) he appeared after work with a bouquet of flowers in hand and instructions for me. “Sit down and don’t do a thing.” He prepared steaks on the grill, potatoes, and asparagus. YUM! These steaks were SO good – and he used as little butter has possible as to not aggravate my tummy. After ALL that – he still cleaned everything up after dinner. I just can’t get over how much he continues to display his love for me.

I have a family that really loves me. Not only my own family, but my hubs family too! I mean, how many people can really say they miss seeing their in-laws? Lol! Well I can!

Ok – so a little update on the bridal shower for my brother’s fiancĂ©! The place has confirmed they will do it for the amount I requested YES! French CafĂ© in Omaha is the best! What a cute place for an event. I have purchased the invites and will post the ones I selected as soon as I get them! I can’t wait to show them off!

This weekend it’s hangin’ with the jr high girls! My friend Melanie is coming over and we are hanging out with the girls in our jr. high group from church. What a crazy bunch! It will probably be a pretty small group though because many are on vacation. I’m going to attempt to make little clutch purses with them. We will see how it goes…

So next time you get down because the crappy weather in Chicago, or a bad day at work...take a step back and really count your blessings. We have SO much to be thankful for! SO MUCH!

Life is good!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A place for connections

So here I am at my favorite Starbucks.

I worked from home today and am supposed to meet a Supplier of mine at Starbucks at 3:30. I decided home was getting a little...well...quiet and I needed a change of scenery earlier than 3:30, so I ventured there at 1:30ish.

Upon entering I noticed a certain pastor from my church meeting with someone. They were sitting so close to me! Ha! I was immersed in some boring spreadsheet for work, so I did my best not to listen in on their conversation...but I must admit it was a little difficult to mind my business. For the most part I resisted temptation...although don't be too impressed because it was mostly because I found their conversation uninteresting to me.

Their meeting ended and the table was left empty.

A few minutes went by and my Starbucks "date" (if you will) canceled. So...now what to do? Well, home is still probably pretty quiet, and Starbucks is active and interesting. Besides, home has all kinds of distractions that pull me from working. (like my sewing machine!)

Since I decided to stay, I broke down and ordered a sandwich and chai tea latte. I will not go into how much I love chai tea lattes...but just know they are a great love of mine. Nothing is more relaxing than sitting...well...anywhere sipping a chai tea latte. There are many other drinks that I truly enjoy, but my favorite is this drink. The sandwich had this spicy Dijon mustard. I am not crazy about the mustard, but the creamy goodness of the latte far outweighed my displeasure with the sandwich.

As I'm finishing up my poor excuse for a late lunch. Who should walk in but Lina's sister!! Right there in person. (to those of you who are not familiar with Lina, she's the women's ministry director of my church. sooo fun, warm, and just enough crazy to make her amazing) She talks about how wonderful her sister is all the time. I also remember seeing some amazing food displayed one small group evening at her sister's table...made me want to resign from my own group and join theirs (sorry small group...but good food is good food haha). She's actually very pretty to me as well...she has a nice, welcoming smile. No wonder Lina likes her so much.

I'm sure the term "lina's sister" isn't exactly what she wants to be called, so I tell her my name and naturally she tells me hers. She's with her son, while her other boy finishes something at school. I think to myself - how cool! How cool would it have been when I was going to school to take a trip to Starbucks to do homework! Anyway - I'm rambling...

So here I went to Starbucks thinking I was going to meet up with 1 person - and end up meeting someone else. Well, I think it's cool.

Update on the bridal shower - I have purchased the invitations!!! I will hopefully post in my next entry!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Thoughts on a Saturday

I love Spring...mostly. I love birds singing, but only in the afternoons. Why must birds sing in the morning? Don't they realize that I need those precious morning hours of sleep? Haha - I am blessed to live by great big trees, though so I can't complain too much. Spring is such a gift though. God knew we needed a relief from the long gray winter. That's what I think anyway.

Today has been superb! It began with a haircut from my favorite stylist, Reese, at Trio Salon downtown. I love the feeling of going downtown to get my haircut! I have really settled into "suburb living", so the bustle of the city is exciting to me. After my amazing haircut I drove back to the burbs and called my grandmother to wish her a happy 90th birthday. Amazing how much she has lived through! I will probably elaborate on that another day, but I just looove love talking to her. Her laugh could seriously brighten anyone's day. I truly wish more people knew my grandmother. While on the phone I let her know she would be getting another year's worth of Netflix from me (she was thrilled because she loves watching movies). She also opened her gift from my mom and aunt - which were DVD's made from all her home projector movies. She was so happy! She's so funny when she laughs!

After chatting with her I took a nap. I know - that's not interesting to read, but it was such a good restful nap I had to include it.

I woke up and decided to make orange cupcakes. I've been dying to try this one recipe!! Well, half my cupcakes are baked!! I have to stop now because it's time to go to church and I don't want to be late! It's just as well because I always try to frost them too soon - before they cool!

Today I read in Luke (I believe I've mentioned that I'm in a Luke study). This portion of Luke talks about how all the high officials hated Jesus. The people loved him SO much, but the very people who supposedly knew SO much about prophecy and such wanted him out of the picture. They devised a scheme to appear sincere and question Jesus on some seemingly controversial issues. Isn't that just like humans? A very real thing - someone who can set you free from... well... from you name it. The very one who could reveal true joy, they wanted out of the picture. {sigh} I feel sorry for those people. I often ask myself when I'm reading the Gospels..."what was their problem?" How could the Pharisees have missed it? REALLY? They devoted their lives to knowing so much about the Scriptures and they full force rejected him to the point of killing him. So sad.

How many people in my life are drawn to the love, joy, and peace I experience on a daily basis, yet aren't willing to give the Lord a try? That makes me sad too. Don't get me wrong, I'm not constantly sobbing over these people, but I wish I could just let them walk in my shoes for 1/2 a day - to really breathe in what forgiveness feels like. To first hand know and finally understand what an eternal hope is. If I could have 1 with for the people in my life without the Lord. This would be my wish. For them to give salvation a shot.

I really hope I'm living in a way that would make someone want to give Jesus a shot...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Finally Friday!

Ok this will probably be a pretty short post, but I just must get pictures up of the things I've been working on! I've been dying to get pictures of the baby boy quilt I completed. I'm mostly happy with it. I find that if you get up close to it, it feels a little busy to me. I'm still pretty proud of it though. It is my 2nd quilt!! I don't want to brag...but I'd say it's pretty stinkin' good for a 2nd quilt!!
The hubs helped me pick out the fabrics. I just love the "little monkey" one! I could seriously make a whole room out of cute little monkey themed things! I love how you see more and more of these types of decorations! Oh man - so Pottery Barn has the CUTEST little baby set called Jackson, I believe? It has whales as the theme!! How adorable! Seriously! I know of this because my friend Shannon is having a baby boy and she is really in to vintage nautical stuff, so I had to check out Pottery Barn to see if they had anything that she MUST have! haha.

I've decided to do baby quilts because they're so much easier to work with! For my first quilt I made a lap size...and while that is a great size to cover up with...it ends up being so overwhelming to work with because of the weight. Once I have cranked out a couple of these little guys I'll be ready to tackle a lap or even queen size one! THAT will be exciting!



What's next? Well, a couple things! I am so pumped to start working on a baby boy scrapbook for my friend Kristin. She's so much fun!! She just found out she is having a boy, so her and her husband are in the thick of selecting room decor. Pre-made scrapbooks are perfect for new mommies! They only need to worry about selecting the best picture for the page and sticking it in the album! I can't wait to share the completed book and I haven't even started on it yet! Stay tuned!
Okay this post is longer than I was expecting...but one more thing! Here are a couple of squares for the quilt I'm working on now. I need to find someone that's having a baby girl because this is the cuuutest combo I've seen yet. (If I don't say so myself)!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Get involved.

Recently during the small group I attend threw out a challenge. I believe I mentioned one in an earlier post involving an egg. To update the 2 to 4 people who read my blog I must confess. I, personally, did nothing with the egg! {gasp} HOWEVER! My husband did! So...I mean...it counts, right? Don't you believe in that whole "two become one" thing??? :)

I had thought and thought about what in the world to do with this egg I was given. I googled egg crafts, talked to others about it, and looked up recipes. Unfortunately, for me and the egg this past weekend was daylight saving...and the beginning of the week was a little rough, so Tuesday night came more quickly than I thought it would!

Enter The Hubs! My hero! He grabbed a bag of Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookie mix, the hand mixer, my egg and a few other things and whipped up a batch of cookies!! Isn't he amazing? I mean really - he HATES baking. Come to think of it I am pretty sure he will never ever ever bake again. The oven is strictly used for pizza, pizza rolls, or anything else related to dinner...but NEVER for baking. (as far as he's concerned)
But he knew I needed something to take, so he set his hate aside for me. That's love you know? Challenge met! I had something to bring to small group!
This week the challenge is a bit more involved. Thanks Lina. We are tasked with making a difference in our own community.
So, I called the Village and after being transferred around a few different times I found the right voicemail. Turns out they have special events at most Townships where they need volunteers to set up/tear down and help direct traffic on most holidays. Sounds pretty cool.
They have one coming up where they invite families/kids to make easter baskets. Sounds interesting, so I'm hoping to find a few friends and help out! If all else fails and I find no one then I will go grocery shopping and donate to the food pantry in our Village. That's the least I can do. I'm sure it's been hit hard in the last couple years.




Well - that's all for now.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Decisions decisions....

At this point in my blogging 'career' so to speak I wish I had more followers so I could draw on their opinions. I know a few more than 2 people check this from time to time, so hopefully I can get some opinions! If all else fails I will shamelessly send a link to my family and close friends and get their opinions! Well, at least I know my grandmother will check and she will give me her opinion! HA!

Well, I'm going to post pictures of the invitations (for my sis-in-law-to-be) for the bridal shower. I really need to narrow things down a bit! All of these invites are designed by a seller on Etsy. To check more out click here. The 1st one is probably my favorite...and the 2nd is my 2nd favorite...I think?? I should just stop right there, but they're so cute!!!


I'm considering the last two because she has a cherry blossom tattoo that was recently completed. I do have kind-of a french theme going on, but perhaps I will down-play that and focus more on the 'girly' aspect of the whole thing. I am still waiting on a quote from the French Cafe, so hopefully I will hear from them this week!

So...comment and tell me what you like. Even if I only get 2 comments...it's better than nothing!