Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Summer Projects

One of the (many) perks of teaching is having the summers off. You work for most of the year and get an extended "break" to recover, get new ideas for next year, and have a little fun.

This summer marks the first summer where I have officially had off and let me tell you, it has been glorious! I have been doing a number of projects around the house that has been occupying a good part of my time. 

The first project that I did was to redecorate our apartment. Since Phil and I didn't live together until after we were married, it was a bit of a struggle to have to merge together all of our stuff. I mean, seriously, I have enough stuff to keep the apartment full on my own, but we had to bring some of his belongings over and we needed to make some space for it all. This project has really been more of an on-going task as new things come and go, but it has allowed me to not only go through and organize things, but to decorate as well. 

The next project was to cook more at home and eat out less. It's really unhealthy and expensive to eat out all the time and cooking is really something that I enjoy...so I was able to sign up at e-mealz.com and have an affordable meal plan with recipes that we can choose from each night for dinner. Score!

The most recent project has been a favorite of mine. I am in the process of fixing up a chair for my sewing table. I found a cute chair for $8 at the Goodwill and was able to repaint it to a nicer color and I'm going to change the wicker seat to a cushion seat. I have everything I need except for the wood for the seat itself, which I plan to get *hopefully* this weekend.

As you can see, this summer has been great for getting things done around the house and I'm so happy to have another month until we go back to school. I've already started shopping and planning for my classroom, but I am thoroughly loving getting things done around the house.

What have you been up to this summer?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Growing Up

Sometimes in life you have to make hard decisions in order to grow.

When I was twenty-three I decided to leave my home of California and move to Virginia. My dad was moving to Texas and I had moved out from my mom's house. The decision to move to Virginia didn't come lightheartedly. I knew this was what God wanted for my life and when I had less than three days to get as much as I could into a suitcase and carry-on bag I took it as a new opportunity to grow.

I was a live-in nanny in Virginia for a year and a half. While living in Virginia I sent my fiance of almost three years packing. It was a life changing decision that I will never regret. Through the power and grace of God, it didn't take long to heal that wound. In fact, I began looking online at a couple of Christian dating websites to see if there was anyone out there worth pursuing. On April 15th, 2008 I "met" who is now my husband.

Six months into our relationship, God was nudging me to move up to Maryland. It was beyond scary as I found a new job, apartment, and got the first real taste of living on my own. I always had thought that when that day came, I would be closer to my parents and be able to go see them for support. With my parents both being across the country, it was a difficult transition.

I stayed in contact with my parents through phone calls and was able to visit my mom twice in California, but the reasons why I chose to move across the country had not changed. Both trips gave me a lot of clarity and for that I am very thankful.

I have been struggling with a very personal issue for years. It involves someone close to me and recently, I have had to make some difficult decisions. I love this person a lot, but in order for me to grow I need to put that relationship on hold for a while until trust can be regained.

It may cause tension between my family and I for a while, but I was very honest and have tried to work this out for a long time. Right now I need to focus on my relationship with God, myself, my marriage, and my career.

I am hoping this will work out over time and will be in prayer over the situation, but I can not allow someone to continue to tear me down. I can't control how the other person reacts, but I can control my reactions. At this point I am taking responsibility by doing the right thing to protect me and my marriage.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Perfection. That's what we all strive for, right? But trying to be perfect all of the time is exhausting and unattainable. It's so easy to think that if we just can do things perfectly, life would be great, however, how many times have you tried to do everything right and still managed to feel unhappy?

Perfection is something that I struggle with on a daily basis. I want everything to be perfect: my home, my marriage, work, family, ect., but at the end of the day I realize that I can't do it all. I can't control everything and things are not always perfect.

Right now I am struggling with a lot of pain in my back and wrist which affects my daily life. I can't do dishes without my back aching and I can't lift the laundry basket or change the sheets on the bed without having pain. I've done everything that I can to make it go away, but it's still here. Our apartment is in a constant state of disarray because it hurts too much for me to be bending and lifting to put things away.
I struggle with this because my parents taught me strive to do my best in all things and it feels like I'm settling for less because of the pain.

I have to let the need for perfection go. I don't need to be perfect. I need to be able to accept myself and my current limitations and look for the things that can still be done.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Going out to Eat

Going out to eat is one of the major things that Phil and I often disagree on. You see, I like to go out to eat and he prefers to stay at home and eat. It's a difficult thing, really.

I like going out to eat because it means that I don't have to rack my brain to figure out what's for dinner and there are no dishes to clean up. My husband, on the other hand, was brought up that going out to eat is a rare and special treat (so was I, but that clearly didn't stick).

When I was young, working three jobs, and living on my own, I often didn't have time to cook and clean up the dishes. My life was very much "on the go" and I found myself picking up something to eat for pretty much every meal. Of course, this would explain the weight gain, but I learned the dollar menus well and used that to my advantage.

Being married is a whole different ball game. Once we got married, I knew that I needed to have dinner ready for him when he came home. I could no longer just go through the drive-thru whenever I wanted. Feeding my husband became a priority.

Over the past four months we have tried different things, but there are too many times where we find ourselves going out to eat and that needs to stop.

A week ago I found myself nannying in Mexico. I ate off of the room service menu and from the groceries that the parents purchased and really missed eating at home. Last week, we were in Virginia and that always presents us with many opportunities to pick up food as well.

We have been back home for a few days now and (except for our date the night we came back) I am proud to say that we have been eating at home for every meal!

There is something nice about going grocery shopping and making the food that you know you like at home. Plus, it saves a lot of money.

I just printed out my weekly meal plan and grocery list and am excited to have some new recipes and ideas to try at home. I have a binder set up where I can store it all and have it set up for one of my husband's favorite grocery stores....

This store makes him so happy because of their low prices. We try to shop there as often as we can to get the best deals.

I am hoping that with this new plan and desire to eat at home more often that we will be able to save more money and make better choices overall. Plus, there's always the making my husband happy thing that's a benefit as well!