Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I've decided that this year Phil and I need to start some traditions of our own so that when we get married and have a family we can continue with those special memories.

This year started off with going to a tree farm and cutting down a Christmas tree. It was a lot of fun and I think we have the best tree ever! It is so perfect and is adorned with ornaments from when we were both children and some new ones too.

The second tradition was that we each gave each other stockings and opened them on Christmas Eve. Phil was right on target with the stocking stuffers and really did a fantastic job! I got an 8gb memory card, rechargeable batteries (I asked for them for the wii fit board), Wii fit plus, a scarf and mittens, a kitchen timer, and a beautiful ornament. Oh and one more thing...an Nsync's greatest hits because apparently I have no shame with still liking them...don't judge me (lol).

The one tradition that I really wanted to do, but didn't get a chance to was to make Monkey Bread for Christmas breakfast. Last night after the Christmas Eve service and stockings we realized I didn't have enough biscuits to make the whole thing and was thoroughly disappointed since all of the grocery stores in town were already closed. Oh well, there's always next year!

We had a great Christmas Eve and are hoping to have a great Christmas Day too. I stayed over at his parents for nostalgic reasons and am awaiting opening presents. Apparently, we are waiting until after lunch which isn't going to even start until 1pm...yes, I am seriously disappointed because I love all things presents and giving them too!

I hope your Christmas is super fantastic! Let me know what you got.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Something's a little fishy here...

Normally I am right on the ball even to the point of knowing what I'm getting for Christmas. It has been this way for a couple of years now. I have been able to always guess and know what my friends and boyfriend was getting me. This year was just like the rest..or so I thought.

My friend and her boyfriend came over for a gift exchange the other night and I knew what they were getting me. Of course, this year Phil and I went shopping for my gift so there were clearly no surprises there. The only thing left is my stocking. This year we decided to fill each other's stocking and exchange the gifts on Christmas Eve just he and I.

I was thinking that he would be going out on Christmas Eve to do the shopping for my stocking, but he may have pulled a fast one on me. Today he went into work and told me that the trains were running on holiday schedule because of the snow storm, but it would be back to the regular schedule tomorrow. He let me know that he would be on a later train and I didn't question it. The guy is super honest and not capable of coming up with a good cover story...or so I thought.

When the kids and I stopped by his parents to drop off my laundry today and get their treats from his mom I mentioned to his dad that the trains were on a holiday schedule and he would be on this one train. His dad mentioned that there was an earlier one he could have taken, but that one makes more stops so he might have wanted to avoid it. Again...I thought nothing of it.

While I was sitting here reading his last email where he told me he was leaving work and getting some shopping done before the train leaves it got me thinking...Where on earth would he go shopping by his work since his car would be at a train lot over an hour away? I've been there and never saw a mall or any kind of store/shopping center within walking distance to be able to go to.

Then I decided to do some sleuthing because I'm nosy like that. I looked up the website for the metro and found no story on it running on a special holiday schedule. It also said that the train should be there on time and gave specific times as if it was running on a normal schedule.

This makes me wonder...did he use that as a cover story and drive to work? If not, how could he go shopping with no car and no shopping center within walking distance? Seems a little fishy to me.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Nativity Set

It's been a while, but I finally have pictures! Phil came over for a gift exchange this past week and we were able to get a picture of our new nativity set.








Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Time

Christmas is quickly approaching and I feel that there is so much more to be done. I need to clean the apartment and pick up all of the random things that are laying around from the trip we just took and wrapping presents. Aside from that we are having two Christmas dinners that we are hosting which means that we need to go grocery shopping and have everything done by Saturday.

We have a gift exchange/possible dinner with a great couple on Thursday of this week. Friday is family night dinner. Saturday is lunch and games with Gram in the afternoon followed by dinner with Phil's friends and a gift exchange. Sunday is Phil's dad's side family get together for Christmas. I work Monday-Wednesday of next week and we are having Phil's parents over for dinner Wednesday evening. Thursday is Chrismas Eve and Friday is Christmas. Saturday is his mom's side family get together in which I am supposed to make a pumpkin roll to bring.

As you can see we are super busy for the next week or so. I am a planner by nature, but there's too many things to plan and if I try none of it works out the way it is planned so I have decided to try to "go with the flow" for the time being and hope that it works out well.

I put up my new nativity set and I adore it! It is the Willow Tree nativity set and I bought it at Cracker Barrel in Iowa this past weekend. It had been on my wish list and Phil was not entirely on board with it. He couldn't see me spending my Christmas money on something that costs that much when it is only going to be displayed for the Christmas season. Silly boy! He seriously should know better. It looks so cute I might have to display it year round...lol. Is that even allowed?

Anyways, I'll have to post some pics when I get a camera to do so, hopefully this weekend!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Graduation.

It's official...I've graduated! Well, the ceremony makes it official, but I still have two more weeks of class after Monday, but it still counts.


Phil and I with my diploma after the ceremony.

And yes, that cord around my neck signifies that I have received honors with distinction! I'm not really sure how that happened, but I've decided that now that they have announced it, gave me a card that says so, and a cord, I'm taking it and not looking back! It was a great surprise and I'm super proud of myself either way.

I now have a bachelor's (technically in January) in Social Science with a concentration in Education. It has been a fun trip in Iowa for the graduation, but it will also be great to be back home and in my own bed.

Friday, December 11, 2009

On our way

We are sitting here at BWI airport heading to Moline, IL to then drive to Clinton, IA for the graduation ceremony tomorrow.

Today also marks our one and a half year mark of our relationship!!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Ouch

I am seriously lucky to have Phil and his family in my life. I do not take him for granted for one second. I fully appreciate him in every way.

Today I went to the orthodontist to see if they can upright my wisdom tooth so that it will come in straight. The procedure they need to use is to put braces on four of my back teeth on one side to get it to come in straight and should take six months. The damage cost for this...$800.

I seriously wanted to cry as that much money means a lot to me. It took a long time for me to finally get on my feet and have enough in savings to feel "comfortable enough" with how much is in there for the time being. I just used a good chunck of it for the personal trainer and it was a decision that was thought through and discussed with my frugal logical boyfriend.

We are going to discuss the options for payment tonight and he has told me he is willing to help me so that it can be taken care of. Neither of us wants me to owe a business and he would be much more flexible to pay the money back to (if he let me).

I am so thankful to have him and to know that he will step in and help me when I need it no matter what. He is the most supportive and loving man in every way.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tonight's plans


This was us on the Metro going to DC to look at the Christmas tree. It makes me happy just looking at it.

Here are my plans for the night:
  • Make dinner
  • Measure the kitchen table for a table runner
  • Sew a table runner for the kitchen table and maybe coffee table too
  • Plan dinner for tomorrow night...chicken crock pot meal maybe?
  • Make or plan to bake cookies for tomorrow night
  • Start making a list for Christmas cards
I have so much more to do, but that's all I can do tonight if even all of that seeing as I work late.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Weekend Recap

This weekend was incredible! We went to D.C. to see the Christmas tree on Saturday after lounging around in the morning and some quick shopping before the trip. And we had our first snow of the season...a good 5-6 inches! Needless to say, Phil was super happy about that cause the boy loves snow! I'll have to post some pictures up later because for some reason it is not working right now.

Sunday was great too despite the fact that we were exhausted from walking around the night before. The snow was still out and even though all we wanted to do was to lounge around the house all day we still went to church and boy were we blessed! Phil was finally able to have some peace about the relationship and was thinking about the future in a positive way! Praise the Lord!

Sunday night I went with Mom to the women's tea at the church like we did last year. It was a great time with Phil's family and a couple of friends and was nice to have just the women there.

I was able to get a few decorations today and put them up around the apartment. I only wanted a few to make it feel more holiday like and like it is my "home" so I'm super happy we were able to get it done!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Here's where we're at...

Earlier I went over to Phil's house to sort through the votives that were given to me by a friend for our wedding...you know, the one that is impending so many things right now. When I went over his mom and I started talking.

We talked about our situation and how neither of us know what to do. We both agree that the relationship is a good thing for both of us and that it is frustrating that he doesn't see it yet. We talked a lot. Then dad came upstairs and joined in the fun!

Dad was very animated and gave his two cents (as he usually does). He agrees with us about the situation and really thinks it is time for Phil to see the reality of the situation. Apparently the whole family...Dad, Mom, Adam, Jen, and Gram all think we are going to get married. They all think it is a good thing and that is where we are headed. I thought so too until he couldn't even bare the thought of looking at rings and moving the relationship further.

We all know what is happening and why, but the reality of the situation is that he needs to figure it out for himself. I sometimes feel like banging my head against a wall and I overanalyze the situation until I can no longer think about it. Then I do it some more.

I don't know what to do because he wants to hear from other people what they think, but when they tell him he argues this, that, and the other because it's not what he wanted to hear.

Bottom line is that he wants what is in his mind the "perfect relationship" with the "perfect girl." I am not his idea of a "perfect girl" even though we fit perfectly together so he continues to obsess and overanalyze the situation and try to rationalize why it can't work and why it won't work.

There has to be a point where he sees that his ideas of "perfect" will leave him unhappy and bored. The pastor tried to tell him, a counselor tried to tell him, and I did too.

I guess he's just going to have to figure it out on his own.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Some Good Things

I must admit that I absolutely love the holiday season. It's much different over on the East Coast where it actually snows from where I'm from in Southern California. There's just something about the cool, crisp air with the lights, decorations, and christmas music that really makes it magical to me. Or perhaps, it has to do with the fact that I worked at Disneyland for a while and seeing the magic of chrismas there was spectacular.

The past couple of days I have been busy with having a friend over for dinner and a movie and cleaning up/organizing my apartment. I had been too busy the past two months being over at Phil's every day to be able to really do anything there. Hopefully I can get it done tonight and tomorrow and feel more happy and comfortable.

This separate time we are spending apart is really helping me to focus on me. It's hard on one hand, but good because I can get what I need done and not worry so much about what I need to do for him all the time. It's going to be an adjustment, but it will be good for us.

Phil has been praying the past two nights that this time will really bring out his feelings and that it will be a strengthening time for us and we can use it as a stepping stone for the future in our relationship. He wants it to work and I am determined to be as supportive as possible so that he can realize it for himself.

So, here's to the holiday season that is upon us...hopefully I will get a lot done and really be able to decorate a bit and make it my own!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Love Conquers All

It has overall been a good day and I am looking forward to my friend coming over tonight for dinner...yay! The only thing is that I can't help but think that my relationship feels weird right now. When I left on Monday after talking with the pastor I was hurt and upset. I didn't know how to respond to him on any level. I couldn't even look him in the eye. Now I am faced with spending at least three days without him not being able to hug or kiss him and let him know that it's ok. We can still talk on the phone, text, and email, but it's not the same as putting your arms around someone you love.

At this point I'm not sure I will even see him before Sunday morning before church. He's still calling me, but it's for shorter amounts of time and it's awkward. I'm really not sure what to say because I was instructed to back off and let him figure things out so I am trying very hard not to talk about it even though all I want to do is tell him that I love him and figure things out. I'm not so great at this whole not being in control and having patience thing. lol.

I'm honestly hoping and praying (along with many, many other people) that he figures out soon what a great addition I am in his life. I know he loves me, but he's too distracted with fear to be able to feel what has been hidden for so long.

Here's to continued faith and continuing to have good days and know that God meant it when he said love conquers all.

New Hope

Today I woke up in the best mood ever. I was filled with hope, reasurrance, peace, and comfort. I spent all day yesterday praying and mulling over the situation that we are faced with. I agree that he needs to really want to be with me more than anything else and that spending time apart will hopefully help with that. It's the whole "absence makes the heart grow fonder" mentality.

So, last night I did not go over to his house. Instead, I went grocery shopping, went home, put the groceries away, did the dishes, put clothes away, put blankets away, found all of the empty/half drank water bottles and started the decluttering process. I then took a bath and watched a movie in bed with my electric blanket after a nice phone call from a great friend.

Tonight I'm having a friend over to make dinner and just hang out. I'm not sure how to handle tomorrow, but Phil's mom said she would drop off my school book if I need her too. The one problem is that I'm not sure how much time to spend apart. I have a difficult time figuring it out. For me, it's either we spend more time together or more time apart--it's like two extremes.

We have so many people praying for us and I really feel so blessed. I am trying my best to wait on the Lord and be patient. It gets to me sometimes, but apparently this is one of the lessons God is trying to teach me.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Recent Feelings

I feel lost. I'm not sure what to really feel right now. I have hope still, but feel lost all the same. I have no idea what to do and how to act. It has been confirmed by our pastor that we definitely are compatible. He also said that he sees it working out and that the feelings I want Phil to have for me are there. I just wonder why he can't see it. To everyone else it is obvious, but to him, it is all clouded. I know he's scared and that's ok, but there comes a point where you sit there and see all of the things staring back at you. The realization needs to come and I am not to force it, it is something he must figure out on his own. We are supposed to have some time in the near future to spend apart, not from the relationship, but physically from each other. This is all in hopes that he figures out the answers he is looking for. I'm afraid it won't work and that he will be so confused. I don't think he realizes how good he has it and what he would do without me. I am hoping this is what comes about from the spending time apart. His mom seems to think that I have been really good for him and that he has grown so much and is a lot happier with me in his life. I want him to see that too. I am tired of hoping. Tired of praying. Tired of trying to figure it all out. I am at the last strand of the rope. I have given it up to God and tried to fix it still. This time I'm too exhausted to fight it and try to fix it all. God, you can have it, please take this from me. I love him with all of my heart and I know that he loves me. Give him the realization and assurance he needs. Show him the way, Father. Guide us on your path and let us not be lost anymore. Amen.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Lately...

Phil and I are in what he calls more of a "rebuilding period." This basically means that recently our relationship has goine through a lot of stress and now the pressure is off and we are in blissful mode. The reason why he calls it this is because the good times are what helps you go through the rough ones. He's smart like that :)

Everything came to a head this past Wednesday. God got us through and we have been on cloud nine since then. Thanksgiving was great and we did a lot of shopping on Black Friday. We got everything we needed and wanted to get and managed to steer clear of the major crowds.

Yesterday we went with his parents to the Christmas Tree farm and cut down a Christmas tree for my our apartment. Although we don't live together, we call a lot of things "ours" out of principle and love.

Today was more of shopping after church and Phil talking to my dad on the phone, while I took a much needed nap. Of course, I had a super weird dream and woke up feeling very weird and distant. I hate weird dreams and movies because it really affects my moods and how I feel and it is not good.

We are going to see our pastor soon because it feels like our relationship has been under attack recently and hopefully he will have some helpful advice for when we are going through our rough patches. We still think it's a great idea to go now even though we are having a great time since sometimes that is the best time to really work things through.

I will continue to pray for us and pray that God keeps us in His care and protects our relationship from negative things.

Monday, November 23, 2009

With Faith Fear Can Be Conquered.

I'm praying for a good outcome. This weekend was full of emotions and great realizations. I know God is in control of it all and I need to continue to trust in Him.

I've been doing great at toning down the wedding/engagement talk for the past couple of days. This has been incredibly difficult for me, but it is what is best for our relationship. As a result, he has been more open to the idea.

We also discussed his fears associated with marriage and change in general. Change is a difficult thing for many people and marriage is a big decision. It's ok to be scared with these things, but it is about realizing that the fear can not hold you back from something that is potentially good.

My intention is not to pressure him, but to be supportive and to help him realize that sometimes the biggest decisions and changes seem impossible at the moment and incredibly scary, but once you give it time and settle in, it is often something that is great and better than expected. Although marriage might scare him from the stand point that he no longer has his singleness and it's choosing one person and there are no "take backs" with the decision, it is ulitmately something that God created to be good.

I know that I love him and he loves me. We are always actively putting each other first and showing our love and respect. If we continue this pattern, it will lead to a lifetime of love and happiness.

As for now, I will continue to pray and exercise much love and patience. Good things are in the wood work and God is making it possible.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I Am Slowly Driving Him Crazy

Seeing as I am somewhat interested completely obsessed with getting engaged and married, it has come to pass that I am driving my boyfriend crazy with all of the ring/wedding talk. This, of course, means that unless I can stop and bring it to a more manageable level, there will probably be no ring.

This whole thing has been very difficult to me. When Phil and I started dating God told me he is to be my husband. I have this innate sense of feeling/knowing things that God tells me. At first I sat there completely stunned. We had only been going out about a month or so, but considering many other things in my life where God has told me what was going to happen, I didn't question it instead I told him. Note--this was probably not the best idea seeing as we were still new in the relationship and the thought of committing to one person who is different than you makes him a nervous wreck.

It was something we talked about over the relationship, mostly because of me, I'll admit, but we still talked about it anyway. At the three month dating mark, people started asking us when we were going to get married. It wasn't just people we knew, but strangers too. It happened all the time. This continued for quite some time and finally stopped when I sat there and asked some friends to stop talking about it. You see, when people start talking about us getting married/engaged, I totally obsess about it and can't stop thinking and talking about it.

Things died down for a while, but the past couple of months since Phil started his new job more people have been asking again. Of course with the new job I began to think that it was now an actual possibility. He was taking it all very well until recently. I have been talking about rings, weddings, marriage, and engagement EVERY DAY for the past two months.

For the most part, he seemed ok with it and even he had a little sense of this could actually happen. We set a time-frame for when to get engaged and married and I even told my parents who were inquiring. He even let me talk about it with my friends because he said that we had discussed it and it was our plan and he was ok with it.

I was all excited and we even made plans to go look at rings this Wednesday. I've been estatic and have even held off from asking him to go look anywhere else. Baby steps, right? But last night it seems it has all come to a head. I have been putting too much pressure on him and he is feeling completely overwhelmed. I no longer know about our time-frame and I'm not even sure if we are going to look at rings on Wednesday.

I did my best to stop talking about it immediately and apologized completely for my craziness with it all. It's not that I just want to be married, it's that I've found everything I need/want in him and that he is the one I want to spend the rest of my life with.

So, for now I have to do whatever it takes to not talk to him about it no matter how cool with it he seems. He said there is still a possibility for Wednesday, but we'll just have to see how he feels by then. He was happy with me not talking about it last night and was relieved to have the pressure off. He's still thinking of the same time-frame-ish, but I just need to calm all of the wedding talk down for both of us.

If anyone has any suggestions please let me know.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Things Parents Should Tell Their Nannies

When you work as a nanny there are some things that you need to know. Things as simple as what time the child/ren went to bed and woke up (if it is late/early), any behavioral problems that happen when I am not present, and when a new system or item is brought into the mix. Not knowing these things can wind up being detrimental to my day with the kids.

Things that have perplexed me this week...

1. Finding out from the school that an unwanted/not acceptable behavior has occurred three times. Then finding out from the parents it has happened at home over the past month.

2. Coming into work to find out that the kids have been going to bed late and waking up super early. Also finding out that the parents are not putting the kids to bed on time or having them stay in their rooms until a more appropriate hour.

3. The oldest (who is 10) getting a cell phone.

You see, all of these things affect my job in one way or another. I now have to deal with over-tired kids and a 10 year old with a cell phone. Why on earth does a 10 year old even need a cell phone? She is at school all day then at home where there is a home phone. She is always with an adult and never without a phone near her. I get to now deal with a million questions of how they work and how she got one and how come she can't use it whenever she feels like it.

Also, parents, please talk to me about things first...not your kids. It is the most obnoxious thing to have your kids telling me what you said when you won't tell me yourself. If there's a new rule I think I should be the one to know it first. And believe it or not, I have reasons why I do things...ask me instead of going behind my back....mmmm k?

Thanks.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Disturbing Much?

Earlier today I met up with someone to just sit and talk. We talked about my job, my life, and my relationship with Phil. She has known Phil for a few years now and has really seen him mature over that time. She is a little older than us, but younger than our parents. She's played an important part in Phil's life and is a trusted part of our lives.

It's not a secret to those who know us, i.e. friends and family, that Phil and I are waiting until we are married. It is something we both belive and agree to be very important in our relationship. At this point, we have been dating 17 months and are still holding steadfast to our values.

So, this woman and I are talking about the relationship and how Phil and I are talking about marriage in the near future. She seems to think it is a great idea and that our relationship is definitely headed there. It is all positive talk for a while including asking me what type of wedding do we want...formal? Where would we like to get married and have a reception...etc. It is all going well until about the last few minutes and it becomes a little awkward. Here's the end of the conversation we had:

Me: I'm super excited to get married!
Her: Oh my gosh....the wedding night is going to be sizzling....she puts her hands up to her head...Oh my, I just can't think about that!
Me: blank stare...thinking did she seriously just say that?...Ummm, ya...I hope so.
Her: I don't even want to be in the room next to you two on your wedding night.
Me: Ya, I don't think I want anyone in the room next to us...can you say awkward?
Her: Well, you two are going to be having a good time definitely!...something to that affect
Me: trying not to be awkward...Ya, we are looking forward to it.

Ummm....seriously...why is she thinking about that? I had to sit there trying not to say anything awkward because that is what I do when I'm nervous, obviously. It was just a bit disturbing. When I told Phil he was shocked she even said it! I think the best part was when she was getting excited and had to say that she needs to not think about it...ewww.

I'm all for talking about things with my girlfriends, but this was a little different and I did not bring it up. I honestly wasn't expecting her to start to think about that and make those comments. It's nice that it will apparently be hot, but there's still a ways to go...lol.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Weekend Fun

This weekend one of my really good friends, Katrina, came up to visit me. She endured the 3 hour drive to hang out and help me make a Christmas tree skirt. Seeing as most of my good friends live so incredibly far away it was nice to have a familiar face around. The tree skirt isn't done yet, but we got it to where I should be able to finish it and if I need help, Phil's mom said she would totally step in and help.

In other news, today Beth got her promise ring! It is super cute and I couldn't be happier for the both of them. Of course, this makes me think more about getting married and surprisingly Phil's mom has been hinting/talking a little bit about it the past couple of days. This makes me so happy. My parents are already on board and it seems like his mom is now considering it to be something that can happen in the near future instead of just "someday."

Phil and I have a tentative plan on when we would like to have it happen and I couldn't be happier that he is starting to think about it and it is ok to talk about as more of a "when" instead of "if."

I still pray everyday that God leads us to marriage and I know that if we continue to follow His plans and guidance it will be something great.

Friday, November 13, 2009

On A Good Day

It's days like today that really make life worth living. It's days like today that make me look forward to more days just like this one. Here's a recap:

  • I had a relatively good night's sleep and was able to move around this morning without feeling like a truck just ran over me.
  • There was minimal traffic this morning allowing me just enough time to get hot chocolate and donuts on the way to work. I was also 10 minutes early to work because of said traffic.
  • Getting the laundry in and the boy dressed without any drama...enough said.
  • Finding out that because I switched my renter's insurance to my car insurance company, I just got free renter's insurance plus saved $100 on my car insurance because of the discounts!
  • Going to Wal-Mart only to find that cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soups were only 58 cents each!
  • Eating a frozen burrito for lunch while watching the beginning of HSM 3...again.
  • Not having to carpool the boy and the neighbor's preschooler at work thus giving me a total of one hour extra "off time" for the day!
  • Knowing that I have a great guy who loves me that I get to spend the weekend with.
  • Having my friend over for the weekend to do Christmas crafts including sewing a Christmas tree skirt for me!
  • Knowing we will once again have sunlight on Sunday!!!
That's all I can come up with from the first part of my day. What makes your days good?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Should I Compromise?

Last night one of Phil's best friends, Dave, and his girlfriend, Beth, came by to have dinner, fix my laptop, and hang out. It was a lot of fun since it was Mom and Dad R.'s birthdays too! It was so great to be able to have the guys talking and hanging out while Beth and I planned talked about getting engaged and married. We must have spent most of the time after dinner looking up rings while I gave her the 411 on diamonds. Yes, I seriously have studied and know that much about them...it's an obsession at this point, really. After we looked at rings we managed to hop on over to look at wedding dresses and see what is currently out in stores. Beth's taste is a little more subdued than mine...lol.

It's really great to have someone who is going through the same thing and understands where you are coming from. I was able to show her exactly what I want and have been looking for when it comes to a ring. I tend to be a little picky at this point. I want something of decent size and quality as well as keeping in mind Phil's budget. I have narrowed down the type(s) of bands I would like and the diamond shape, but I have a huge problem with size and quality.

I know what "ideally" I would like, but I really don't want Phil to spend so much. It seems that if the size is what is most important, I will have to compromise on quality. The other alternative is to compromise on the size for better quality. I don't need a perfect diamond, just one that is worth the money he is going to spend.

Tonight we are hopefully going to go to the mall and look at the different sizes for me to try them on. I am hoping that I can find something that I will be happy with that will be a good compromise for the both of us.

So, with that said, which is more important...quality or size?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Validated

Phil and I were fortunate to be able to go to lunch with a bunch of friends today. I was so happy to know that I am not the only one feeling the need desire to get married. Our friends have been dating probably around 6 months-ish and at lunch she was saying the same things I have been saying! It made me totally feel less crazy and more validated.

I talked with Phil and we gave more of a "time line" for when these things should occur. He has been much more open with talking about getting engaged and married lately than ever so that is definitely a good thing. He has even gone as far as going with me to look at rings to get an idea of cost, size, and what you can get for your money. I want him to get the best thing he can for what he wants to spend and I have every intention of obsessing helping him look and informing him of all of the options available.

We are definitely having to compromise on when is the best time for us to move our relationship to the next level. Phil feels no need to rush while I would have been happy to have been engaged and had the wedding like...yesterday. Lol. I think we have definitely come to a good compromise that we can both deal with. I want us both to be comfortable in the decision and not to be too overwhelmed by it all.

It still makes me incredibly giddy to know I am not the only one going through this and that a good friend feels my pain. I am hoping and praying that by the end of next year we will be Mr. & Mrs.

Friday, November 6, 2009

I want what I can't have

It seems to happen that I can't have what I want the most. Right now that is two things...a new apartment and to get married. I am completely ready for both of these, mind you, but it looks like they are both on hold for the moment.

I went apartment searching yesterday since I was home from work and feeling better. It seems that my price range yields some very interesting apartments...either too small, run down, or in a shady neighborhood. At this point I am starting to consider my current apartment a luxury one. I asked Phil's mom to go with me to one yesterday. At the end of it our conversation went as follows:

Me: I guess I must have really high expectations or something.
Mom R.: No, I just think you have expectations in general.
Me: Well, at least now I know I'm not crazy!

Ya, my expectations are things like a decent sized apartment that has been well-maintained, nothing fancy, and in a decent neighborhood. I guess that's too much to ask for right now.

On the marriage front it seems to be at a stand-still. I have been ready to get married since before Phil and I started dating. He, on the other hand, is not. This has to be one of the most frustrating things to deal with ever. I am completely obsessed ready to get married and he could seriously wait another few years. We are working on a compromise, but it's hard not to want a ring right now.

I feel like I am doing everything I can to show him that it will be a really good thing for us, but I feel like I am wearing him down and that's not what I want. Right now I am trying to focus on not talking about it and not stressing about it hoping that he will do it in his own time. I just wish that his time was closer to my time...which may or may not have been six months ago, but still. Oh well...it's  he's worth the wait. I love him so incredibly much and know that he is the one God has for me.

Gotta just keep praying.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sick Days

I've been feeling pretty sick since Sunday. I went to brunch with Phil and the family, but afterwards my stomach started feeling sick. It had been upset Monday and got really bad Tuesday night. I took off yesterday and got today off as well.

I am not a person who usually calls in sick, especially being a nanny. In my previous positions, my bosses looked down upon calling in sick and not working unless death itself was knocking at the door. I also, had never had sick pay, so if I was out then there was no pay and I needed the money. Luckily with this job I have a couple of sick days to use per year and my boss seems to be very understanding with me staying home. In fact, she actually encouraged me to stay and rest today so that I can get better faster, of course, I promised to go in to work tomorrow even if I'm feeling a little iffy. You know, I don't want to take advantage or anything.

So, here I am at Phil's house resting up, watching a lot of tv, doing homework, and chillaxing. Here's to feeling 100% by tomorrow...cheers!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Planning, Planning, and Oh, More Planning!

It's no secret that I have been working on finishing my degree online for the past couple of years. I am proud to say that in January it will all be over and I will have my bachelor's degree!

To celebrate, Phil and I have have decided to attend the graduation ceremony in December! The school is located in Iowa so we have a lot of travelling to do to get there.

Being that flights, rental cars, hotels, gas, and food is expensive I have been searching for hours to find all of the best rates. I have looked up the special "College Rate", AAA Rate, and even the Federal Employee Rate for everything. Yes, it is a hassle, but it is already paying off! Between using all of my resources we have been able to save $100 from the best "package" price without skimping on any of our "must haves" during this trip. I must admit, I am a fantastic online deal finder if I do say so myself.

I will be really happy tonight when we book most, if not all of it. The headache will be gone and I will be able to stress a little less about one more thing

Monday, November 2, 2009

This weekend in a nutshell

This weekend was definitely a good weekend. Friday was Phil's sister-in-law's birthday dinner, Saturday was halloween, and Sunday we had brunch with Mom and Dad (Phil's parents) and Gram. We stayed and played games at Gram's apartment and had a lot of fun despite the fact that I have been feeling sick all weekend, but I managed to suck it up and get through it only to now be at work all day watching a sick kid.

Anyways, here's a picture of us at the halloween party:

Friday, October 30, 2009

I love my dad...

Sometimes I think it's funny what happens. My dad and I were on the phone. We were talking about my cousin moving and such and how she probably won't get married out here since she's moving next weekend. My dad was originally going to come and see me when he went to her wedding since I live an hour away from her. Anyways, my dad then decides to ask me the famous question..."So, when are you going to get married?"

I love you, dad. That has been on my to-do list forever and all of my friends know I am wedding-crazy and want to get married soooo badly! Especially since I'm positive that I have a keeper on my hands. You see, my dad used to always tell me to "slow down" in relationships and to really test it out first to see if we should get married. Now, he is really wanting to know when it will happen because he really likes the guy I'm with! This, folks is a definite first in my dating history. My dad has never thought that anyone was good enough for me and he thinks that Phil and I should be on our way to getting married!

I find it a little ironic. After my last big break-up my dad and I prayed for God to bring me a quality guy. I made out a list with all of the good qualities I was looking for that I would not budge on. I prayed over that list and over the guy that God would bring me, namely, my future husband. What I didn't know is that my dad was praying for the exact same thing only that the next guy God would bring me would be my husband!

Sure enough, only a couple of weeks afterwards, I started talking to Phil and within a few weeks of talking I was positive that this was it. I had this feeling from God that this is the person that God had in store for me!

As you can imagine, this dating process has been a little crazy considering I want to get married and know that my dad approves (which is a serious feat!) and God laid it all out there. Phil is an amazing man, but likes to take things a little bit slower. I have come to accept that and know that when the time is right, he will pop the question so all I have to do is have faith, keep praying, and be patient...which, unfortunately is not a strong suit of mine at the moment!

It's just so great to hear my dad say that he will give Phil his blessing and my hand whenever he is ready. It means so much to me to know that my dad sees all of the great things that I see. Phil is a wonderful man and I am so lucky to have him in my life. I can't wait to have our relationship move to the next step and I keep praying that it will happen when the time is right.....i may or may not mention something about sooner rather than later when I pray, but I'll never tell!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Exhaustion=Boxed Dinners :(

The past few days I have been having a terrible time sleeping. This morning I literally woke up and was completely annoyed by the thought of getting up, getting ready, going to work, then going to the gym...mainly the last one, but still. Of course I did all of those things anyways because when you are a nanny, you can't just call in when you would rather sleep mainly because who would watch the kids if I did that?

As my day progressed I started to feel better and actually had a really great workout at the gym! I'm not noticing results yet, but when I do the elliptical it is 100 times easier this week to go the same amount of time but faster!

After the gym I ran some errands, hung the laundry up on the line, and cleaned out the fridge in my apartment. Picking up Chick-fil-A on my way back to the house to get the little one from carpooling from school on the way back.

Fast forward to sitting at the house eating lunch...I suddenly felt exhausted. Seriously? I just had so much energy and contemplated going home tonight, making dinner, cleaning up, going back to the gym or to group depending on my mood.

Now...all I want to do is sleep. I feel incredibly tired and it is draining just thinking of making dinner and cleaning up. And I have resorted to making hamburger helper for dinner *shudder*. There is nothing wrong with hamburger helper, but I just feel so much better if I make something more homemade than that. It tastes good, but the Food Network watcher in me screams "DON'T DO IT!" Lol. It's a problem, seriously.

I am going to be going to the grocery store soon to get some easy-quick-fix things to make for dinner for nights like tonight.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tasty Tuesday

Today, over at Etta's blog she is hosting a Tasty Tuesday post where you can share your favorite recipes! I love cooking so much and since I'm always looking for new recipies, I've decided to post one of my favorite ones that is a hit with Phil's family for dinner! I actually got this recipe from Phil's mom who got it from Phil's Gram. I have made it before for my previous bosses and for the family that I work for now as well and everyone loves it...especially the sauce. So, without further delay here's the recipe:

Meatloaf
2/3 Cup of Bread Crumbs
1/2 Cup Milk
1 1/2 Pounds of Ground Beef or Ground Turkey
2 Slightly Beaten Eggs
1/4 Cup Grated Onion
1 tsp. Salt

For the Sauce:
3 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Ground (Dry) Mustard
1/4 Cup Ketchup

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a glass casserole dish with a wire rack lined with foil and holes cut through foil to allow the fat to drain. Or use a broiler pan and line with foil. Cut holes in the foil to allow the fat to drain.
2. In small bowl, mix together bread crumbs and milk. Set aside.
3. Combine ground meat, eggs, onion, and salt. Add in bread crumb/milk mixture. Use your hands to incorporate thoroughly.
4. In separate bowl, mix together the ketchup, brown sugar, and dry mustard to make the sauce.
5. Take the meatloaf mixture and mold it into a loaf shape.
6. Baste the top of the meatloaf with the sauce.
*Bake @ 350 degrees for 1 hour or until cooked through.
**I make extra sauce to serve with the meatloaf as well.

There you have it! It can be served with any kind of potato, coleslaw, or we like it with green beans as well. Let me know what you think.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I love Fall!

Fall is my favorite season. I love the leaves changing colors, the weather...not too hot, not too cold, pumpkins, fall colors--red, orange, yellow, and just the overall feeling of it all.

I must admit that I really love all things pumpkin. Carving pumpkins, pumpkin spiced drinks, making pumpkin rolls, pumpkin pie, pumpkin crafts, and pumpkin patches. In fact, I am convinced that my wedding should be in the fall...October, specifically...and that the center pieces will be pumpkins with wedding symbols and words carved into them. I am definitely lucky that Phil is totally ok with this vision of our fall wedding, but alas, I must get the ring first!

This weekend will have some fall goodness to it. I am going to make a couple of pumpkin rolls *phil's favorite*, pick out pumpkins to carve with my honey, and hopefully make it to the mountains tomorrow to see the leaves changing color in the mountainy-fall-goodness!

What are your plans for the fall?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Letter

Dear Fellow Gym Go-ers,

I think it is terrific, even admirable that you too are going to the gym. Maybe it is to get into better shape or just to be healthy, but whatever the reason it is honestly great.

I find it helpful that the gym has showers and a fantastic locker room with tons of lockers, mirrors, and a bathroom with granite countertops. In fact, this is the whole reason that I like the locker room. The showers are a nice touch even if I refuse to use them, but really, feel free to do so yourselves.

I must admit, however, that there is something that I saw this morning that I do not think is necessary. You see, the gym also has an extra changing room available so that you need not prance around in your old lady undies for everyone to see. I do not enjoy gathering my belongings from my locker post work-out to see an older woman in floral granny panties and a pink bra.

For future reference, I would like for you to consider one of the ample shower/changing areas available not in the open.

Thank you,

Your Fellow Gym Patron

Monday, October 19, 2009

I think I need a plan....

starting NOW.

I have spent entirely too much money in September and October. It's because there have been things that I saw on sale and wanted and some things where I have convinced myself that I have needed.

There may or may not have been many times where I wanted to shop so badly I bought things for Phil just so that the shopping could be justified.

My bank account is not too happy right now.

Phil and I are going to sit down and make a plan....tonight!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Great Weekend

This weekend was a lot of fun minus Friday night. Every Friday evening Phil's family has a family dinner. It is something I totally look forward to every week. Unfortunately I was unable to attend this Friday because instead I was busy waiting for my tub to be looked at since it was filled with water and would not drain. Even though it was necessary to wait around it ended up being fixed to drain, but they need to do something else so that it can plug up for baths.

Saturday was possibly my favorite! My legs were super sore from the leg work out my trainer had me do the day before, but at least I know the working out is working, right? We started off the day by going to lunch and meeting up with a friend at Bob Evans...I love Bob Evans. After that we went to the outlets and went shopping for 4 hours...ahhhh! I ended up getting a super cute pink coat with a faux fur hood. It's super comfy and cute and I really, really needed at coat for the winter. I also got some thermals and a zip-pull over fleece from the Gap outlet.

Today we went to church this morning and we went to the church that we were attending when we first started dating. It was a church that Phil had been going to for years and we left because of some drama between me and the youth pastor. Long story short...I was trying to get involved in youth ministries and the youth pastor was a little busy. He thought he was responding to me and I never got the emails. I thought I was being ignored and got really hurt and upset so we left that church for most of this year. He ended up seeing us in Panera Bread this past week, said hi and I no longer felt ignored. We went back this morning to try it out again.

After church to clear the air I went up to talk to him and explain what happened. We concurred it was a big misunderstanding and we both apologized. He extended another offer to volunteer with the youth ministry program and all is better. I figure we will continue to go there and hopefully we will make that our home church again.

Other than that we had lunch at home and ran some errands. It is so wonderful to have the whole weekend to do whatever we wanted and not worry about what time Phil has work.

It was a fantabulous weekend!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Day 1

The motivation I had yesterday to get started with the trainer has really kicked in. Today was my first day with my new trainer...and...I loved her! She was everything I was looking for in a trainer. After the last trainer I had, it was great to have someone who seemed interested in my goals and what I have to say. I'm really glad that I requested her and was adament about it. I figured that if she is always in the gym working out, then she must be pretty decent at it and seemed nice.

We talked and figured I would do 3-4 days a week with her and some extra classes of cardio when I am not working out with the trainer. It was a bit costly, but will hopefully be worth it. She was so encouraging and made sure to give me only one homework assignment for my diet for this week which was to eat one more fruit or vegetable per day than I normally would. Easy enough! She said she didn't want me to get overwhelmed with the workouts and completely changing my diet all at once because then I would be more likely to give up on it....See? She rocks!

I have another appointment with her tomorrow morning since she has decided to come in even when it wasn't in her original availability. It is so great to work out with someone who is encouraging and will push me when it needs to be done.

Hopefully we will see some results next month when we do the next set of measurements and weigh in!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Let's get the party started

Let's face it, I've gained 20 pounds in the last year. That's kinda a lot and I am not happy with it at all. The weight gain has been mostly because of stress with some "love weight" thrown in there by falling in love with an incredible man. Either way it needs to go.

I'll be the first one to admit that I am a procrasinator. The gym to me seems like a great idea until it is time to go. I'm also the best excuse maker ever --due to years of practice when I was a kid --to get out of anything I did not want to do.

I'm also a stress-eater. When stress comes my way so does my appetite. Cheeseburgers, pizza, bacon, ice cream, chocolate, cake, cookies...you name it, I want it.

Because of all of these things it has been really bad on my health. I have back pain, knee pain, and I get winded going up and down stairs. When we were at DisneyWorld this past summer, I couldn't even walk around the whole time. My back was in so much pain. My knees hurt, and my feet were so swollen I couldn't even fit into shoes or my sandals I had brought! It has gotten so bad that part of my leg feels swollen and will hurt if I have it bent too much. Unfortunately Phil's sister in law is a doctor and said it is not swollen. This of course means that it is just my fat that hurts....ouch :(

I am, honestly, about 55-60 pounds away from my goal weight. It's been exhausting to not be able to bend down while sitting to get things without having my belly get in the way. Phil will actually volunteer to do many things for me to help because he knows that it is incredibly uncomfortable for me to do myself--like carrying things up the stairs for me at his house. I'm not incapable and I do many things, but the weight does get in the way more than I would like it too.

I had just about had it today when the realization came that my insecurities all stem from my weight in some form or another. The once a month personal training is not working because we only meet once a month and other than that the average gym trip has been once a week...not too good.

Phil and I had talked about how I need more training from a professional multiple times a week to really see results and be motivated. With feeling so insecure lately I decided to talk to him about actually doing that and headed off to the gym to get prices on different training options. He agreed, surprisingly, that it would be a good idea to have me try it out for 3 months meeting with a trainer 4 times a week! This way I am guaranteed to go to the gym 4 times a week for the next 3 months and there should be some kind of significant progress by that point.

My first appointment is tomorrow with my new trainer. I am hopeful that it will go well and that it will be the kick in the butt I need to get going with weight loss and living a healthier lifestyle.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

First Day

It is definitely a big day...Phil started his new job today and I couldn't be prouder of him if I tried! Luckily, I was able to talk to him on my way to work to make sure he got there ok. He had about an hour and twenty minute commute and had to be there by 8am. He called me again on his lunch break to let me know how his day is going so far and he said it was going well! They had given him a tour of the supply closet (lol) and said they would have to give him a better one later in the day. He has a cubicle and will be making changes and additions to previous maps using cartography software.

I can't even begin to tell you how excited and relieved I am. He graduated in December of 2007 with a degree in Geography and certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). His very unique degree has made it difficult for him to find a good job, but God has finally blessed him with this amazing opportunity!

In other news, we saw the youth pastor of the church we used to go to at Panera Bread yesterday. We stopped going to the church because the guy ignored my attempts to volunteer as a youth leader and eventually ignored me--all while telling Phil that he had been emailing me the whole time...ummm, I never got anything past the one or two emails that told me about the Christmas party and that was it despite my at least three more I sent even saying we could talk on the phone if it were easier for him.

Anyway, we were there and he was sitting at the table right next to us and he actually acknowledged us! This made me feel so much better and seriously less angry about the whole situation so we are going to try to go back to that church this Sunday. We left only because of the way that he was making me feel and the ignoring despite seeing us every Sunday for months. Hopefully things will go well and we have a "home church" again.

Pretty much everything is going well over here! Can't wait for the graduation ceremony in December, it should be a very interesting trip to say the least. Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Congratulations to Chris and Heidi!

I love weddings! Today just happened to be the wedding to a really great couple, Chris and Heidi. I've known these two for just under two years now and it has been great to see their relationship grow into something beautiful.

They had an amazing outdoor wedding at a small church in Virginia--which meant Phil and I had to drive three hours to see them and three hours back today because the friend we were going to stay with has the flu :( I love how they incorporated teh fall theme into just about everything from the colors to the centerpieces adn even to the cake. It was incredibly lovely and I was happy we could be there.

And if God has not given us a million signs already...Phil ended up with the garter! It landed close to him so he was the only one who stepped over and picked it up....haha!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Getting Spoiled

Today I decided to pamper myself a little despite being completely exhausted. Phil and I have a wedding to go to on Saturday so I didn't feel too guilty :)

Today I bought some eye shadow, mascara, super cute tights, ribbon, and a quilter's cutting board for my sewing. After work I decided to do one more thing...get my nails done! It has probably been almost a year and a half since I have had my nails done. It's so nice to have them done and I feel so much better.

On top of that Phil's last day working at Wal-Mart was today! He starts his new job as a cartographer on Tuesday and I am so incredibly proud of him. After work he brought me a present "just because he loves me"...Friends Season 1? ....yes please! Have I ever mentioned how much I love him?

I have a lot to get done tomorrow so I'm praying the kids all go to school and don't stay home sick. I have to pack for the wedding in Virginia, iron Phil's work clothes, go to the gym (maybe), do the little one's laundry, and any other errand that I can't think of off the top of my head.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Uncivilized?!

The kids grandma thinks that me pulling the car over to give Middle child a much needed time-out is "uncivilized." She also thinks that her "perfect little angels" are sweet as pie and do not need discipline. She also doesn't think that the kids can do things for themselves and does not agree with how I do things.

Guess what...I get the kids to listen, have order in the house, and manage to keep them safe, happy, and healthy. Homework is done daily, chores are done, and I have had no complaints from mom on what is done and how things are managed. Mom comments on how well the kids behave when I am in charge.

This kind of makes me laugh.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Gym is Totally Kicking my Butt

I've been slacking lately on going to the gym. In the past three weeks I have been once per week. I have been eating better since Friday and have already lost .8 of a pound! I've decided to try to go to the gym more often, but not to pressure myself or there's no way I'll go.

This morning there was a Combat class (like kickboxing) and I went to that right after the little one got picked up from school. It is one of my favorite classes and teachers at the gym and it was great to be able to go. The class is an hour long and I stayed for all of it except the last part where they do some crunches, push-ups, and stretching. Throughout the whole class I...thought....I....was....going....to....die. It's a great workout, but it's exhausting!

They say the gym is supposed to make you feel great and give you tons of energy, but it doesn't so much when you are out of shape to begin with. I am so ready for a loooong nap right now. Hopefully I can continue to go more this week and start to feel the "energy" from going to the gym afterwards, but for now I need a nap!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Graduation Plans

Today I filled out and faxed the information to attend my graduation in December. It was a tough decision whether or not to go--seeing as it is in Iowa--but Phil and I decided it would be worth it considering it took me forever to finish my bachelor's degree. I will officially be done in January and am having serious senioritis. All school work is daunting and even going online to look at the work seems like a chore. I am so ready to be done with school and can't wait for January to get here. I am currently undecided about a master's degree, but will think of that after a much needed break from school.

Does anyone know what the weather is like in Iowa in December? Please tell me it doesn't snow...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Weight Watchers Anyone?

I've been reading a lot of blogs recently and have noticed that one of my favorite blogs to read mentions that she is doing Weight Watchers with her husband and it is working for them! I've been struggling with weight loss and especially over the past few weeks my nutrition has really been aweful. Phil and I even had a talk about it to try to get me back on track. We decided that I needed a plan to work with instead of blindly going in there. We considered a couple of things:

--A supplement aka Alli. After reading the many reviews (good and bad) we decided that the oily discharge and general leakage problem from the rear end is NOT ok in any circumstance. Other supplements have high levels of caffeine and I am caffeine sensitive...it puts me to sleep--literally.

--After shooting down the supplement idea, I thought of Weight Watchers because I have been reading about the success over at this blog and thought it would be a great idea to try. You get your points allowance and get to do a lifestyle change without counting calories!

After making the decision last night, calling Weight Watchers to talk to them about the program, we headed out to BJ's to get a Momentum Cookbook to get an idea of recipes that are allowed. We also purchased a starter kit online today that should be here in a few days to get the ball rolling! I am excited to try this out and see what can happen as a result of it.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Recent Craftiness

When I was younger people would constantly tell me how creative I was. I loved to do arts and crafts and would always find something to create. Over time that has really fallen by the wayside. Even as a nanny there are many times where crafts would be great to do, but I'm at a loss of what to do. Getting this sewing machine has been a great thing for me. All I want to do every night is some kind of new project. I don't know much about sewing except for how to thread a bobbin, thread the needle, straight stitch, and now zig zag, but I've been able to do an apron, pin cusion, and small tote with it! I seriously only have been taught how to hem and turn inside-out, but with some creative thinking things have come out better than expected! Here's the tote bag I made out of the same material from the apron because I have tons of extra:




Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Apron Project

Last night I attempted my apron project. After work I went to my local JoAnn's Fabrics store to get some fabric and thread for the project. Earlier in the day I looked up patterns online, but didn't find anything that really struck my fancy. After a lot of thinking the decision was made to make a short apron, one that goes around your waist as opposed to a full apron. Here's the end result:


phil was a great sport letting me use him as a model...i think he looks kinda cute in it too ;)




Overall, I think it came out great for my first "by myself" project considering I know nothing about sewing. I literally thought about how it could work, did a lot of hemming and straight-stitching and this is how it came out! I thought about pockets, but when they were pinned on I didn't think they looked right with the apron so I am still undecided about those. Maybe I'll do a reverse one with the brown and white polka dot fabric for the main part and the blue swirl fabric for pockets and ties. If anyone has any suggestions let me know!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

He Got It!!!

I am sitting here with so much excitment right now. A couple of hours ago Phil was given a firm offer for a new job! I am incredibly proud of him and his hard work and effort in pursuing a career and it has finally paid off!!! He starts the second week in October and has to travel down towards D.C., but it's a great job and we are really looking forward to this new change.

I may or may not be super excited that he gets to wear business casual clothes to include a button up shirt and slacks every work day!!! Is it just me or do guys look so amazingly cute in dress clothes? Also, ironing seriously makes me happy and kind of relaxes me.

Thank you Jesus for this amazing man and opportunity that you have given him!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sewing project


 This is my new sewing machine! It is a Singer 717 from 1971. I was lucky enough to get it from a friend for free! It is in great condition and sews perfectly. When Amanda first brought it over the bobbin threader was broken and she didn't know how to fix it. Determined to make it work, I took it over to Phil's parents and had them look at it. Dad said it was the bobbin winder tire most likely and a new one should be able to be picked up from Jomax to replace it. So, this morning I headed out to Jomax, picked up a new tire, brought it home, and tried it out and guess what...it works!!! This will make things much easier than going over to Phil's house to use his mom's machine to thread bobbins and it only cost $3 to fix! My first project is placemats for my table. I started on them yesterday with Phil's mom and will hopefully have them done this week and will post pictures.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Could this be the answer?

This weekend was filled with friends, fun, laughter, and a family reunion on Phil's side. It was great to be able to get together with friends, have dinner, and play games. It just makes things a little better when you have that kind of support.

The reunion for his grandpa's side of the family was about an hour away in Pennsylvania so we got a lot of talking time. After the reunion we decided to head over to Hagerstown, MD to go shopping while we were close before we headed home. It's always nice to be able to spend some extra quality time with him doing things that are spontaneous and have such a great time.

On the way home, we started talking about a number of things. One thing, in particular, being what do I want to do with my life? Growing up, teaching was always the number one thought. In fact, this coming January I will have earned my degree in Social Studies and Education. Unfortunately, I'm not so sure that is the road I want to take in life.

For years it was certain that teaching was the way to go, but recently, not so much. Since looking into other graduate programs, I may have found one that would be something that is right up my alley....Human Resources. I love working with people, figuring out things, and coming up with solutions to problems. And, since it is not teaching, there would be no parents to worry about, faculty drama, or students taking things out of context with my "not so political correctness" at times.

I have yet to discuss, in more detail, the program with Phil, but it might be what I end up doing. It will take three years to complete, but the good news is that the classes are on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings for three hours so I totally wouldn't have to worry about too much school on top of a full-time job!

As for now, it is definitely in my thoughts and prayers....hopefully I can figure it all out before the deadline to apply in December.

Friday, September 11, 2009

*Crossing my fingers*

Life has been super duper stressful lately. I don't want to jinx it, but it's not like people actually read my blog. Phil has been offered a tentative job offer. He has been working on his background check and security clearance all week and was finally able to send it in today. It is a super exciting time and we are both praying fervently that things go well and a firm offer is presented next week.

Because of all the work that has to be done and the attention to detail quality time has been scarce this week. We are usually the couple that spends almost all of our time outside of work together running errands or just hanging out. It's weird to not have that, but it's part of growing up. I am definitely looking forward to growing in our relationship through the start of his career and am praying that all goes well and smoothly with the offer to remain.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

To Teach or not to Teach

I've been feeling very apathetic towards school lately. School used to be something that wasn't too bad, afterall, it would help in becoming a teacher when finished right? Unfortunately, if teaching is what I want to do, a master's degree is necessary to get certification. Let's set the record straight, a master's degree would be wonderful, really it would, but the program that is the best in the area is very hands on. This sounds great doesn't it? There's a catch...to complete the program, you must do one full day in the classroom for the first two semesters. The third semester is a 15 day internship and the last semester is a 9 week full-time internship (aka "student teaching"). I would be all on board for all of this, but it is all UNPAID. Just the thought of rearranging my schedule to take the classes, do the internships, schooling at night, and maintain my relationship, finances, and apartment seems a little overwhelming.

This has led me to think that maybe I do not want to teach afterall. Human relations or public administration both seem like good options for a master's degree, but it won't give the flexibility of teaching when I have a family to take care of. This really puts me into a predicament. I have no idea what to do with my life or what I want to do with it for that matter. Right now Phil and I are not married and that is a factor into what decision will be made. If he gets this job he's up for and we can get married and manage to do all of that, then teaching might be a good option.

Either way, I have until December 15th to make the decision to enter the program in the spring or not. Until then, there is a lot of thinking to do...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Last Year's Birthday

Phil's birthday is coming up at the end of this month. I've been super busy planning and scheming for the perfect party for him. Last year was awesome! I threw him a surprise party with his friends, had a singing balloon, pinata, decorated the house, and made him a cake which the candles burned out way to fast and there was wax all over his cake. He said it was by far his favorite birthday ever!

Since last year was so great, I'm even more determined to make this year so much better! We decided on a cook-out and since Phil loves all things weather related so what we are doing is having a weather-themed party which is hard because stores don't generally carry weather themed party accessories. Despite all of this, it's going to work out. I am making weather bingo cards, a tornado pinata, and another surprise that I will post pictures up in a few weeks once it's done. I can't have him read this and ruin the surprise ;)

Here's a couple more pics from last year...see the enthusiasm?
                             

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Gym Hiatus Over

After a 3 week hiatus from the gym and eating healthy all together I have resumed my regiment. I had last friday off so off to the gym I went for my "fitness evaluation"...you know, the one where they tell me I need to lose about 60 or so pounds to be "healthy" and do a work out with me that makes me so sore afterwards....ya. So we worked out and talked about personal training options. Honestly, there has always been something intriguing about personal training, but it has always been too expensive. After talking with them for a loooong time I decided it might be worth a try. Basically, my trainer would work out with me once a month and set up a workout schedule with specific workouts to do for every day I will be going to the gym so I know exactly what to do and there are no excuses. Also, they help you with nutrition even if you only meet with them once a month!

I thought that definitely this could be a good thing and that it would be great to see if the program is do-able for me. i have serious motivation issues when it comes to the gym...don't judge me. When they signed me up they had a year contract written up...WHAT??? I signed up anyways so that I wouldn't feel embarrassed, made an appointment, and went to tell Phil what I had done. Phil agreed that a month-to-month contract would be better or to be able to try it out for a few months first to see how I do with the program. We went back to the gym yesterday and talked to them to try to get the contract changed.

At first she said that the contract was already signed and their programs are one year long. Luckily, I had read the fine print that gave me until today to cancel the contract. As we talked to her for 10-15 minutes to explain how we think it would be best to try it out on a shorter term and sign up if it is what we were looking for she kept explaining that it is a year long program and it will take that long to reach my goals...nice try. We then said that we can cancel and are considering it because we didn't want a one year commitment...that's why we paid off our memberships in full!

It took a while, but she finally offered us a 6 month contract. Phil was still a little hesitant and we got it down to 3! * persistence people, persistence* Now, I will have a plan, trainer, and no real excuses *other than laziness* not to have this work out. Positive thoughts, laziness aside, I can do this :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Family

Over the past few years my life has been thrown through more loops than I can imagine. I am really at a great place and it took a lot of time and perserverance to get where I am today. Looking back there are so many things that I should have done differently. I hurt my family and that is something that haunts me every day. There is nothing I want more than to mend things with my family and to be apart of their lives.

Throughout these years I have been fighting to regain the trust that was lost and it has been at a standstill. The only difference is that I am on good terms with my dad. My sister contacted me and said she wants me apart of her life, but my step-mom said that I'm not a good influence. This is by far the most hurtful thing I have had to deal with. I have completely turned my life around since everything happened seven years ago. I am a regular church attender and for a while worked with the youth ministries. I am a nanny and am a role model every day for the three kids that are in my care. I have gone back to school and will graduate with a Bachelor's degree in January! I have a great, Christian boyfriend that my dad approves of. I pay my bills, have my own apartment, make good decisions, and really care about others around me.

My dad has expressed nothing more than that he wants me to be apart of the family again, but there is no way that my step-mom is ready yet. I just wish she would get to know me so that she can see the person I have become and all of the many accomplishments that I've achieved.

I can only pray and in faith know that God will turn this situation around. Please keep me in your prayers too.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What I thought was a "wasted trip"

Yesterday was a great day. On Friday I found out I unexpectedly got it off and it just so happened to coincide with Phil's day off! Nevertheless, I was super excited. We started our day by heading down to Rockville. It's about an hour drive to get there, but I really wanted to check out World Market and see if I could find the throw pillows that were on their website there. It was a fantastic store, but we couldn't find the pillows for the couch and the utensils looked a little funny so we decided to trek on over to Ikea.

Ikea was only 10.5 more miles or so down the road (because when you live where I do all of the ridiculously great stores seem to be an hour away) and we headed there. Phil had never been to Ikea *i know, right?*and we went up the the restaurant/cafeteria there and had lunch. He was shocked that we could both have penne pasta for lunch for under $10 and that it tasted that good! Of course, I was super excited to be at Ikea--they have so many cool things at great prices. We finally found the throw pillows and couldn't find one to go with the couch, again so we went to look at new slip covers for the couch. When we got there we found out that most of the slip covers were $49 unless you wanted a super rough white one for $19.

I have been talking about getting a new couch for a while now, but it was more of a "distant" reality so to speak, but when I thought about how much the slip cover and two throw pillows would cost the though of investing close to $100 in a couch I wanted to replace seemed like a horrible idea when I could use the money for a new couch. At first, Phil was not on board with the new couch idea. After driving back home I asked if we could look at one of the furniture stores in town and we discussed the couch thing again.

It's not like the couch I have now is horrible, it's just that I really am finding my own style, am 25 years old, and really want to have things that feel like they "fit." The couch I have now is a basic one from Ikea with a dark blue slipcover. One of my best friends gave it to me when they got a new one and I gladly accepted it. I just thought it was time for a new couch and my reasons were definitely valid.

Off to three different furniture stores we went. The first one had an ugly green one that was comfy, but ugly and it kind of looked funny. The price tag: $399. I really didn't want to spend that much and especially not on something that was not our style at all. We went to Gardiner's next and saw a bunch of things we liked for a heck of a lot more money. It was a little discouraging. On the way out and to our third store, Phil made me promise that we wouldn't get anything today. He wanted to really look around and make an informed decision. I told him I had no intention of buying today and want to look all over to find the perfect couch at a perfect price. To me, this price was $300 or less. I knew it would take some searching and was up for it, but I made him pinky promise that if we found something super fantastic that we could not pass up then that's a different story. He agreed.

On to Gardiner's we went. The first thing that the lady in the store told us was that they had two sofas on sale and that today was the last day. The first was a cream color one that was on sale for $299 and is in the back. The second was a green one for $399 in the front. We looked around and headed straight for the back. The couch we wanted was cream or light beige in color, soft, plush pillows, and super comfy. On the way back, Phil even said that he didn't expect much and wanted to see what was wrong with this couch that they put it on sale for $299.



Much to our surprise we went back and saw this:

Needless to say it is perfect! We pick it up on Saturday and may have difficulty rearranging the living room and getting it in the door, but we're determined to make it work. We both love it and finding something that we both love is...well...super difficult. I am seriously thanking God for the wonderful couch that we found on a total whim! Now, for making it fit...

Friday, August 21, 2009

*yawn*

I've been a little less than thrilled lately. There have been a few reasons why:

--I'm getting over a cold I got from the kids. I'm exhausted because of it and feel blah.

--My job has been difficult this week. Three kids and 50 hours for the week when they all want to do different things. The oldest thinks that she deserves respect and that should come by letting her make all of the decisions and do whatever she wants. Ummm, you're only nine years old...how about giving me some respect instead of being a complete pill thank you very much!

--The biggest reason is that I graduate with my bachelor's degree in January! Sounds great right? It is, but the problem is that the Social Studies/Education degree I am getting does not have the right classes to teach in my state :( I have tried alternative ways to getting a certification either by a Master's degree or resident teaching certification and it is not going to work unless I quit my job which I totally need to survive.

I've been holding up pretty well, but the exhaustion of being sick is totally getting to me. I have a softball tournament tomorrow (if it doesn't get rained out) and although I am looking forward to playing, I wouldn't mind if it was post-poned until Sunday to get some much needed sleep.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Oh the drama

Being a nanny is definitely an interesting job. It is not one that I ever thought to have, but happened all the same. This being said, watching 3 kids with different interests can be a little challenging. What I can say is that last week hanging out with the youngest (who is 4) was so much fun. The two older girls were with their grandparents in another state and it was such a nice change. This week is a full 50 hour week with all 3 kids; on top of that I am battling a cold and so is the oldest child.

I came into work today to find out the youngest has a play date that we are supposed to drop him off at. This was definitely a good thing because that means that the girls and I can go home, watch a movie, and get the laundry started as requested. Unfortunately, that did not happen. As soon as we got there and the middle girl saw the blow-up pool set up, she set out to try to stick her feet in (crocs and all). I quickly stopped her because I didn't want my car to get all wet and said we needed to get going. The play-date's mom then offered for her to jump in with her clothes on. What??? I don't think so! Luckily, said child decided that she did not want her clothes wet.

Thinking we were spared any further damage or requests I mentioned that we had to go, but noooo, the play-date's mom asked the middle child if she wanted to borrow a swim suit insuring that she had one in her size. Before I could protest the child was excited and the mom ran her inside to change her into the swimsuit. I was now stuck there, at the play-date in the heat, with the oldest child and play-date mom...awkward.

It wouldn't have been so bad except that I have this cold that causes my head to spin, nose to either be stuffy or run, and feel really exhausted. Plus, you add in the heat and humidity and I melt (physically and emotionally). I do not deal well with heat and humidity....seriously. On top of that, the oldest child is a talker. So much so, that she told the play-date mom all about her life story: how her great-grandma died when she was 5, that her dad's side of the family has a long life-span, her grandma has pnemonia, she once had pnemonia, she now has a cold, etc, etc, etc...

Instead of a relaxing morning, I was stuck there for 2 1/2 hours. Way too long for comfort. I had not eaten breakfast and just wanted to chill while the girls watched a movie and the laundry was started. I now look forward to going home, eating dinner, and vegging all night because I can't go to the gym if I can't breathe well out of my nose.

*Oh, and isn't it amazing that the oldest child can be soooo sick, need tylenol, and complains all flippin day about how bad they feel, but can be ok enough to go to a friend's house and when I say resting and driking plenty of fluids is better tries to say that she wanted to go outside and practice field hockey with said friend....ya, i don't think so.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

10 Things I've Learned

1. Me+heat+humidity=not ok. I seriously do not deal well with the previously mentioned. I actually melt, well kinda. I get sweaty, gross, and while in Florida my feet were so swollen they looked like two potatoes...eww.
2. Sometimes when I get entirely too overwhelmed I need to just veg out and may or may not need some chocolate-y goodness to go along with it.
3. I feel so much better when I go to the gym.
4. I really need to try to get to said gym this week despite my 50 hours of work with all three kids for the next couple of weeks.
5. My boyfriend is seriously great.
6. We all have insecurities and doubts, but it is how we overcome them that is important.
7. Things do not always work out how I would like them to and I am starting to be ok with that.
8. The internet is my happy place...I must be on it for at least 15-20 minutes in the mornings to be ok.
9. Phil makes me happy. He makes me laugh at the funniest things that he does.
10. I love to go his house to get my internet and cable fix since I have neither at my apartment.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Starting over...

Everyone needs a fresh start every now and then. It could be something little like weight loss or perhaps something much bigger like a start over in life. In any circumstance, everyone deserves a second chance at starting over. Sometimes it seems too hard to do even if you know it is the right thing to do, but with a good support system behind you 100% you can accomplish anything! Trust God in all His ways and He will make your paths straight.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

He makes me happy

This week I feel seriously lucky! I have a wonderful man who loves me so much and will put up with my shenanigans. He lets me wear his clothes when I can't find anything to wear and runs to the store when I, for some unknown reason, am craving potato salad. He spoils me, really he does. So, I would like to spoil him. You see, my boyfriend loves the weather. Tornadoes, thunderstorms, and especially blizzards make him really happy. I've been thinking for a while what I can do to surprise him. Here's what I've come up with so far...

A tornado cake! Now, I'm not so sure how I'm going to do it, but I think that if I research it enough, I can make it happen. If you have any suggestions please let me know!