Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Frugal Is The New Sexy!

In an attempt to streamline my blog and focus on bringing you as many great daily, frugal tips as possible, I'm moving... I hope you'll join me at:

www.frugalisthenewsexy.blogspot.com

See you there!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bargain Hunting Tuesday

I stopped by Target today to see what kind of after Christmas deals they had. All of the Christmas merchandise is 50% off, but will most likely go to 75% off by the end of the week. I was able, though, to score a few great deals by combining Target's online printable coupons and a few manufacturer coupons. Here's the scoop:





I bought 4 boxes of Kellogg's cereal for $11.96 and used the following coupons:

$5/4 boxes Kellogg's cereals printed off of Target.com

2 $1/2 boxes Kellogg's cereals from my coupon arsenal

Total after coupons: $4.96 or $1.24 each

I also bought two bottles of Method hand soap for $2.99 each and used 2 printable coupons for $2/1 from MethodHome.com

Total after coupons: $1.98 or $.99 each

The kids ate lunch for just $1.21 each today, thanks to the printable Kid's Cuisine $1.50/3 coupon from Target.com and the $1/3 coupon from the arsenal. (Notice they're not pictured; they were pretty hungry by the time we got home. (=)

And, finally, I scored some Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh lunchmeat for $.79 after the $1/1 printable from Target.com and the $1/1 from the arsenal.

Not bad, huh?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Free 4x6 Photo Flip Book from Vista Print

Head over to vistaprint.com to order your FREE photo flip book. Thanks to shesaved.com for this fun freebie!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Break from Couponing and A Darn Good Breakfast Casserole

When I began faithfully couponing several months back, I was disappointed to learn that coupons were rare or nonexistent on Holiday weekends. Happily, I've recovered from that trauma and learned to plan my grocery shopping and menu planning around the Holidays. I may have to drop by the store to pick up some milk and bread, but I've got plenty of "stock" to get us through at least the next week. I plan on taking some of the time that would have otherwise been spent searching grocery deals and doing the actual shopping to throw out my expired coupons, reorganize and plan my budget for the first few months of 2010.
I hope to also experiment this week with some of the new kitchen gadgets that I was given for Christmas! My mom loves that I've started cooking so much and gave me many fun things that I can't wait to use. My goal is to create some dishes without using a recipe. It won't be easy; I'm definitely a recipe kind of girl. But, I've found that I'm quite capable of throwing a few things together and coming up with some pretty successful combinations.
Take, for example, the breakfast casserole I put together early Christmas morning when we decided we were far too hungry to only eat cinnamon rolls. Here's the recipe. Give it a try and tell me what you think. We LOVED it!

Christmas Morning Breakfast Casserole

1 bag frozen cubed hash brown potatoes
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar, pepper jack or colby/jack blend cheese
8 frozen Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage patties, cooked and cut into bite size pieces
5 slices thick cut bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled
8 eggs, slightly beaten
3 cups milk
Salt, pepper and seasoning salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350.
Lightly grease 9 x 13 casserole dish.
Place potatoes in an even layer in bottom of dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper or seasoning salt.
Sprinkle with cheese.
Top cheese with sausage and bacon pieces.
Combine eggs and milk. Season with additional salt and pepper or seasoning salt and pour over other ingredients.
Bake, uncovered for 45 - 55 minutes, or until eggs are set and knife inserted in middle of casserole comes out clean.
Let sit for 5 minutes before slicing.
Serve with salsa and sour cream, if desired.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Best Lasagna Ever... Only Better!

Those of you who know me know that I'm obsessed (not in a creepy way, of course) with The Pioneer Woman. If you enjoy cooking or want to learn, her blog is the one to visit. Her lasagna recipe is, by far, the best lasagna ever. And, she knows it... Take a look:

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2007/06/the_best_lasagn/

We're getting ready to sit down and have some for dinner. I couldn't be happier! The kids are pretty excited too... I made a few very minor changes to her recipe to suit our family's tastes. You might enjoy them too...

Instead of canned whole tomatoes (too chunky for my picky eaters), I substituted Del Monte Petite Diced Tomatoes with Basil and Olive Oil... Yum.. And, instead of the Kraft can o' parm, I used refrigerated, shredded Italian blend by Sargento. I've never been the patient type, so I use no cook lasagna noodles that don't require boiling before they're layered in with the other ingredients. Subtle changes, but they made a big difference. If your family enjoys lasagna, try this recipe. You'll love it... I promise.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

This Week's Grocery Game Success...

This week's grocery excursion took me to Albertsons, King Soopers and Safeway. I was able to purchase $278.69 worth of groceries for $123.53 by combining coupons and store sales. Here's a run down of some of my favorite bargains from this week:

Albertsons

Krusteaz Bakery Style Cookie Mix
Original Price: $3.59
Sale Price: $1.79
Coupon: $1.00 off
Price at Checkout: $0.79
Savings: 78%

Orville Redenbacher Microwave Popcorn
Original Price: $3.79
Sale Price: Buy One Get One Free
Coupon: $0.40 off (Doubled to $0.80 off)
Price at Checkout: $1.10 each PLUS coupon at checkout for FREE Redbox movie rental with purchase of 2 boxes of popcorn. Guess what my family is doing tonight?!
Savings: 65%

Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese (8 oz.)
Original Price: $2.99 each
Sale Price: 10 for $10
Coupon: $1.00 off 3
Price at Checkout: $0.67 each
Savings: 78%

King Soopers

Oroweat 100% Whole Wheat Soft Family Bread
Original Price: $1.99
Sale Price: $1.49
Coupon: $0.55 off (Doubled up to $1.00)
Price at Checkout: $0.49
Savings: 74%

Betty Crocker Pouch Potatoes
Original Price: $1.29
Sale Price: Four for $5.00
Coupons: $0.35 (Doubled to $0.70 off) AND Cellfire coupon $0.40 off
Price at Checkout: $0.15
Savings: 88%

Kraft Singles Cheese 12 oz.
Original Price: $2.49
Sale Price: Three for $5.00
Coupon: $0.50 (Doubled to $1.00 off)
Price at Checkout: $0.67
Savings: 73%

Safeway

Nivea Kiss of Moisture Lip Balm (Purchased 4)
Original Price: $3.05 each
Sale price: Buy One Get One Free
Coupon: Buy One Get One Free
Price at Checkout: $1.14 each
PLUS
Coupon: Buy 3 lip balms, get lotion free (up to $6.64)
Savings: 94%

If that's not exciting enough to ruffle your feathers, I can't begin to imagine what might do it for you...




Friday, December 18, 2009

Qdoba.... Yum...

Kids under 12 eat free this weekend at Qdoba... AND, they've expanded their kid's menu to include some items that kids actually like.

Enjoy!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Everybody's Preggers!

Am I the only one who had found myself suddenly surrounded by pregnant women? Thanks to one of my favorite blogs, Springs Bargains, I stumbled across a great deal for a fun and practical gift for yourself or a friend who is or will be nursing their baby. Hop over to

uddercovers.com

Plug in promotion code CHRISTMAS for a $32.00 credit on one of their beautiful nursing covers. That means it's free. Just pay $8.95 for shipping!

Take a look at SpringsBargains.com for some great local money saving tips!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Great Deals on Magazine Subscriptions at Amazon.com

I love magazines. One of my very favorite things to do is read a magazine while I'm taking a nice, hot, bubble bath. Aaaahhhhh...... Take a look at some of the magazines that Amazon is offering:

Amazon.com

Family Fun and Oprah are being offered for $5.00 for a one year subscription. Can't beat that deal!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mexican Lasagna

It's been a long time since I've made this dish, but it used to be one of our favorites. I came across the recipe today and wanted to share it with you all. Let me know what you think!

Mexican Lasagna

1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. dry taco seasoning mix
1 C water
12 (6") corn tortillas
1 C green chilie salsa (or salsa of your choice)
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 15 oz. can corn, drained
1 4 oz. can green chilies
1 C shredded colby/jack blend cheese

Preheat oven to 375.
Brown meat; add seasoning and 1 cup water. Cook until thickened.
Spray 9" x 13" pan with cooking spray. Place 6 tortillas on bottom of pan, overlapping if necessary.
Mix salsa and tomato sauce; set aside.
Top tortillas with half the meat, corn and chilies.
Pour half the salsa and sauce mixture over top and sprinkle with 1 cup cheese.
Repeat, finishing with cheese.
Bake 30 minutes.

Zhu Zhu Pets, Anyone?

If your children are asking for this year's "hottest" toy for Christmas like mine are, you know by now what a Zhu Zhu Pet is. I just got notification that a few are available. Here's the link:

http://www.shopko.com/toys-and-sports/zhu-zhu-pets

I was able to score 4 of them for $11.99 each. Good luck!

Monday, December 14, 2009

No Time Like the Present... (Original Post 12/14/09)

Why wait until 2010 to get started with my New Year's Resolution when I'm perfectly ready to start TODAY?!
As you may or may not already know, I'm addicted to The Grocery Game. If you are responsible for budgeting and shopping for your household and you enjoy saving money, you've got to check it out. Here's the link:

thegrocerygame.com

For a small (very small) fee, this site allows you to print a grocery/item list for any one or all four of the stores that they offer and tells you what coupons to pair with which sales for the best prices. I save, on average, 60% of my weekly grocery bill by using The Grocery Game. Is that exciting, or what?! Ok, clearly you're not as excited as I am but, keep reading... You will be. I promise... (=

Take a look at at all the good stuff I came home with after visiting Albertson's, King Soopers, Safeway and Walgreens:





You're looking at $441.09 worth of groceries right now. Can you believe that?! The picture just doesn't do it justice... The items in that picture will keep our family of 5 fed for the next 3 weeks. Yay! The most exciting part of this picture, though, is that I didn't pay anywhere close to $441.09 for all of these groceries. I paid nearly 60% less by combining coupons and store sales. My total out of pocket expense for all of these items was $204.34. Do the math, people. That's less than $70.00 per week to feed 5 people. Awesome...

Keep in mind that I've been using The Grocery Game for about 4 or 5 months and have spent countless Sundays clipping coupons out of the paper. We set aside some of the money we saved on groceries and invested in an inexpensive pantry and a used deep freezer. By purchasing those two things, we're able to stock up on non-perishable items and freezer items when they are priced especially low. I love that there is always food in the house. Even when I haven't planned my menu, I can usually whip something up for dinner with ingredients I have on hand. I love it.

So... Welcome to my world. (=

Forgive Me

I lied to you.... WAY back on September 30th, I promised you some new recipes. I haven't been back since... Ugh. Forgive me.
I've been thinking a lot lately about what I want 2010 to be for me and for my family. I've never been much of a New Year's Resolution kind of girl, but I like the concept and know that I'm capable of committing to new things and sticking to them. For example, I haven't had a carbonated beverage since Easter of this year. For some of you, this may not seem like much of an accomplishment. To me, however, it's HUGE. I love, and I mean LOVE Dr. Pepper. I can hardly remember what it tastes like now, but that doesn't stop me from wanting one every single day. I've also given up reading two certain magazines that I realized were a waste of my time and our money: Us Weekly and People. I'm 5 weeks "clean". (=
My point, (woah - you mean I had a point?! I'd almost forgotten, seeing as I've rambled on for a long paragraph already. Geeze...) is that, instead of giving something up for the new year, I am committing to something new: Starting January 1st, and maybe even before, I'm going to write a blog post daily. Yes, you read that right, daily..
I spend anywhere from 5 minutes to a couple hours everyday searching blogs and other internet sources for great deals. I love coupons, I love The Grocery Game and I love a great bargain. AND... I really love you, my "people".
So, get ready... Like it or not, I'm going to pass on some of my best finds, favorite recipes and bargain hunting tips. And, since you're my "people", I welcome your suggestions, constructive criticism and even your brutal honesty. Scratch the "brutal" part - I'm pretty sensitive in my old age. (o;

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Home Again

Just a few days ago, I was in Las Vegas, enjoying the 104 degree, sunny weather by the pool at Mandalay Bay. Today, I'm sitting in my room, listening to the 50+ mph winds that are bringing cooler than "normal" temperatures to our fair city. Truth be told, I'm happy to be home. Don't misunderstand, I had a great time in Vegas with my girlfriends. But, there's nothing quite like coming home to my precious husband and daughters. And, to be perfectly honest, I missed my routine...and, my crockpot. (= I'm heading out to volleyball practice now, but stay tuned for some new recipes later today...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Crock Pots on Sale at Target!

Target has a very basic, 5 quart slow cooker on sale through September 18th for $15.00. Brad and I dropped by to pick one up this afternoon, but they were all gone. Grab a rain check, though, and you can get your hands on one for the sale price as soon as they're back in stock. If one crock pot is great, imagine life with TWO!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Last Week's Menu... Success!!

I am LOVING all the cooking I've been able to do lately. My crock pot is still my favorite appliance EVER, and it's the only way I've been able to feed my family every night, even with our crazy, hectic schedules. And, sloppy joes have become a weekly staple in our house. They're quick and easy and I LOVE the recipe; it's SO much better than anything out of a can or envelope. Here's the sloppy joe recipe and some more of our most recent favorites. I hope you'll enjoy them as much as we have!

Chicken Ole

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 (16 oz.) jar salsa (I pureed mine with a hand blender, because my kids don't like "chunky" salsa.)
2 teaspoons cumin
1 bunch fresh green onions with tops, chopped

1. Pound chicken breasts to flatten. In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth and add salsa, cumin and onions.

2. Place heaping spoonfuls of cream cheese mixture on each chicken breast and roll up. (There will be leftover cream cheese mixture.)

3. Place chicken breast seam side down in slow cooker sprayed with vegetable cooking spray. Spoon remaining cream cheese mixture over each chicken.

4. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 to 6 hours.

Apricot Chicken

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 (12 oz.) jar apricot preserves
1 (8 oz.) bottle Catalina dressing
1 (1 oz.) package dry onion soup mix

1. Place chicken in slow cooker sprayed with vegetable cooking spray.

2. Combine apricot preserves, drewssing, soup mix and 1/4 C. water and stir well. Cover chicken breasts with sauce.

3. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 to 6 hours.

4. Serve over hot, steamed rice.

Sloppy Joes

2.25 lbs. lean ground beef
1 can tomato soup
1 cup ketchup
6 TBS grape jelly
2 TBS yellow mustard
2 TBS apple cider vinegar
2 TBS light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Brown ground beef and drain. Add remaining ingredients and stir over low heat until jelly is melted. Serve on buns or bread of your choice. We like our joes with cheese! Enjoy...

Ranch Pork Chops

6 (3/4 inch) bone in pork chops
1 (1.3 oz.) packet ranch dressing mix
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 (15 oz.) cans new potatoes, drained, quartered
1 (10 oz.) can French onion soup

1. Spray slow cooker with vegetable cooking spray. Place pork chops on bottom of slow cooker.

2. Sprinkle pork chops with ranch dressing mix and pepper.

3. Place potatoes around pork chops and pour French onion soup around potatoes and chops.

4. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 to 5 hours.

Slow Cooker Lasagna

1 lb. lean ground beef
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (29 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 Cup water
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 (8 oz.) package no cook lasagna noodles
4 Cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 Cups small curd cottage cheese
1/2 Cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. In a skillet, brown beef with garlic; drain. Add tomato sauce, water, tomato paste, salt and oregano; mix well. Spread 1/4 of the meat sauce in ungreased slow cooker. Arrange 1/3 of the noodles over sauce. (Break noodles, if necessary.)

2. Combine cheeses; spoon a third of the mixture over noodles. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining meat sauce. Cover; cook on low for 4-5 hours or until noodles are tender.




Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Menu Planning and Crock Pot Recipes

I've discovered, not necessarily by choice but by necessity, that the first and best way to save money is to EAT AT HOME. Brad and I used to love going out to eat. Due to the recent turn of events, we've learned to really enjoy eating at home. I've really loved having a meal to present to my family at the end of each day. We're able to sit around the dinner table, pray together, enjoy some good food and talk about everyone's day. Needless to say, my Crock Pot is my new best friend. Try a few of these recipes from our menu last week and I think your's may become your new bff too... (=

BBQ Chicken and Potatoes

4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
5 small or medium potatoes, quartered
1 cup honey bbq sauce
16 oz. can jellied cranberry sauce

1. Spray slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Place 1/2 of chicken breasts in slow cooker.
2.Top with 1/2 of the cut up potatoes.
3.Mix bbq sauce and cranberry sauce together in a bowl. Spoon half the sauce over the chicken and potatoes in the cooker.
4. Place remaining breasts in cooker, followed by the remaining potatoes. Pour the rest of the sauce over all.
5. Cover and cook on Low 8-9 hours, or until chicken and potatoes are tender but not dry.

Stuffed Green Peppers
(If your kids, like mine, don't like green peppers, remove the rice and beef mixture from inside the peppers and serve. Extra peppers for dad!)

6 green peppers
1 lb. ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 1/4 cups rice, cooked
1 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
8 oz. can tomato sauce
1/4 cup beef broth

1. Cut stem ends from peppers. Carefully remove seeds and membrane without breaking pepper apart. Parboil in water for 5 minutes. Drain. Set aside.
2. Brown ground beef and onions in skillet. Drain. Place meat and onions in mixing bowl.
3. Add seasonings, rice, and Worcestershire sauce to meat and combine well. Stuff green peppers with mixture. Stand stuffed peppers upright in large slow cooker.
4. Mix together tomato sauce and beef broth. Pour over peppers.
5. Cover. Cook on low 3-4 hours.

Layered Chicken Cordon Bleu

4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 lb. sliced, cooked ham
1/2 lb. sliced Swiss cheese
10 3/4 oz. can cream of chicken soup
1 box dry stuffing mix, prepared according to box directions

1. Layer all ingredients in the order they are listed into your slow cooker.
2. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours, or until chicken is tender but not dry.

Maui Chicken

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
14 1/2 oz. can chicken broth
20 oz. can pineapple chunks
1/4 cup vinegar
2 TBS brown sugar
2 tsp soy sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1 medium green pepper, chopped
3 TBS cornstarch
1/4 cup water

1. Place chicken in slow cooker.
2. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over chicken.
3. Cover. Cook on High 5-6 hours or until chicken is fork tender.
4. Serve over rice or angel hair noodles.

Italian Beef

4-5 lb. beef roast, cut into 1-1 1/2 inch cubes
2 or 3 beef bouillon cubes
1 tsp garlic salt
2 TBS Italian salad dressing

1. Place roast, bouillon cubes, garlic salt, and dressing in slow cooker. Stir.
2. Add 1-1 1/2 inch water around beef, being careful not to disturb the seasoning on the top of the meat.
3. Cover and cook on Low 8 hours, or until tender but not overcooked.
4. Remove beef from cooker and shred with 2 forks. Return shredded meat to cooker and stir into broth.
5. Serve over rice, or on rolls or garlic bread for an open face sandwich.

Easy Stroganoff

10 3/4 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
14 1/2 oz. can beef broth
1 1b. beef stewing meat or round steak, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup sour cream
2 cups noodles, cooked

1. Combine soup and broth in slow cooker. Add meat.
2. Cover. Cook on High 3-4 hours. Reduce heat to Low and cook 3-4 hours.
3. Stir in sour cream.
4. Stir in noodles.
5. Cook on High 20 minutes.

Chicken Azteca

15 oz. can black beans, drained
2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 cup chunky salsa, divided
5 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, cubed
egg noodles, cooked
shredded cheddar cheese

1. Combine beans, corn, garlic, cumin and half of salsa in slow cooker.
2. Arrange chicken breasts over top. Pour remaining salsa (and more, if you prefer) on top of chicken.
3. Cover. Cook on High 2-3 hours, or on Low 4-6 hours.
4. Remove chicken and cut into bite sized pieces. Return to cooker.
5. Stir in cream cheese. Cook on High until cream cheese melts.
6. Spoon chicken and sauce over cooked noodles. Top with shredded cheese

You Asked For It!

If you remember my last post, you know that I was "laid-off" back in July. At the time, Brad and I made the decision to do everything in our power to make sure that I was able to stay home full time with the kids. In an effort to live off of one income, I've started shopping at second hand stores, planning our menu and grocery list every week and making as many things from scratch as possible. Those of you've who've known me for longer than a year or so are most likely attempting to pick your jaws up from the floor... I'll give you a moment to gather yourselves; there's MORE. (=

OK... Ready for it? I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE our new life. Who knew financial loss was the ticket to a happier Shellie? Hmmm... Can anyone say, "Blessing in disguise"? After nearly 11 years of marriage, I realized that I really enjoy cooking and baking. AND... I'm not half bad. I can't say that everything I've made has been great, but most of it has at least been edible. I don't know about you, but I consider that a HUGE success.

Since my amazing transformation over the past couple months, I've had several people ask me to share some of my new methods for being frugal. What better place than my blog to get the word out? So, I thought I'd start with a post about menu planning... Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Did You Miss Me? No? Hmmm...

Wow - Do I know how to neglect a blog, or what? There's no way I'll be able to recall everything that has happened in the last 3 months, but I suppose I can give you a good idea of what we've been up to.
On May 22nd, school let out for summer break. It's official: I am now the proud mother to a 4th grader, a 3rd grader and a Kindergartener. I seem to be handling the transitions my oldest two are making, but this whole Kindergarten thing is nearly enough to send me right over the edge. How is it that my baby is going to be 6 years old next month?! It just doesn't seem possible... Ugh.
Our summer has been filled with Vacation Bible School, various camps and lots of fun days at the pool. Thanks to some of our very generous friends who live in neighborhoods that have community pools, most of our pool days have been free! Free is good any time, but especially now. Sadly, I was "laid off" a couple weeks ago and things are pretty tight around here.
Our biggest concern, of course, is the kids' school situation for the upcoming school year. We've been honored to be part of the Pikes Peak Christian School family for 6 years now, and hope to continue to be part of it for many years to come. Private school is not cheap, though, and with the loss of about 1/3 of our annual income, we just aren't sure yet what will happen. We have a huge support system through friends, family and school staff and we know that God will continue to provide for us, even if that means a new school for the girls.
So.... Life is not ridiculously exciting, but I can't complain. We're all healthy and happy and so, so very blessed.
Brad and I are leaving for some time alone in Turkey Rock this weekend. I'll share some pictures of our trip and maybe even a few from the past few months. Love you all....

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

video

Ginna's Award Ceremony...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Pretend That You're Reading This Post On May 4th... (o;

The Story of Ginna Rose
(Included here for those of you who don't have Facebook...yet.)
Not long after Brad and I were married in November of 1998, we began discussing the possibility of having a baby. More accurately, I began begging non-stop until he gave in. (o: Nine months after our wedding, and after what felt like a lifetime of disappointing months, I was expecting. Brad decided early on that he did not want to know the sex of our baby. I, of course, did... So, on the day of our ultrasound, we tried to find out if we would be bringing home a boy or a girl. To this day, I believe that the ultrasound technician chose not to tell us because she knew that Brad wanted to be surprised. If I could track her down, I would thank her for that. (o: By late April, the nursery was decorated in a neutral theme and I was more than ready to not be pregnant anymore. The nearly 70 pounds I had gained during my pregnancy was making it difficult to do most anything and I was miserable. At my final Dr.'s appointment, my OB agreed to schedule my induction for May 4th. My OB came in that morning a little after 8:00 a.m. and broke my water. By 8:45, I was in very heavy labor, and I was begging (ok, screaming) for an epidural. The anesthesiologist came in to administer my epidural, but it was too late. The baby was crowning as I sat on the edge of my hospital bed. After a few chaotic and terrifying minutes, my OB came in and delivered our baby at 10:11 a.m. And, then, I heard my very favorite phrase... "It's A Girl." Because we didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl, I hadn't told anyone that I desperately wanted a daughter. I had tried to tell myself that I would be just as happy with a son, but the truth is that I couldn't imagine myself as a mother to a boy. My God does not make mistakes. My precious, oldest daughter is the sweetest gift to our family and I can't imagine my life without her. Happy Birthday, my sweet girl. I love you...

video

Ginna and Avery wrote and performed a Mother's Day song for my mom and me. It was, by far, the best gift I've ever been given. I'm so proud... (o;

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Poor Me..

Today, I'm having a pity party and you're invited... Since Sydney was born 5 1/2 years ago, my monthly visits from mother nature have become increasingly brutal. So much so, that in Novemeber, I spent two days in the hospital with what the Dr's originally diagnosed as appendicitis. Turns out, it was only a really bad cycle. Since then, they've not been bad enough to be admitted to the hospital, but still enough to ruin at least a week out of every month. I'm tired and discouraged and wondering what to do next. My OB/GYN prescribed birth control pills, but they literally made me crazy while I was on them. I just couldn't function normally. (Ask Brad; it was terrible.) Now, I'm wondering if I should just elect to have a hysterectomy and be done with this junk forever, but the thought of doing something so permanent freaks me out a little.
Anyway... I know there are many, many people out there that have much bigger health issues to deal with and I really shouldn't be complaining. However, this issue is really beginning to effect my quality of life and something is going to have to be decided very soon. Keep me in your prayers if you think of it. I really appreciate it. (o:

Friday, February 20, 2009

Oops...

When I started this blog, I had every intention of keeping it current. I have failed... Life has been quite a whirlwind since just before Christmas, when we made the decision to do whatever it took to sell our house in Falcon. The good news is that we moved on February 1st to a great house 5 minutes from the girls' school. Our life has changed drastically for the better and we're so happy in our new home. The girls have adjusted nicely and are getting used to not having to share their rooms with anyone. Much fun...
I'm on my way out to a friend's purse party, but I will do my best to get caught up this weekend. Much love to you all...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

I was recently challenged by several of my Facebook friends to write 25 random facts about me that they may not have already known. Since I've neglected my blog over the last several weeks, I thought I'd include it here as well...

1. I LOVE grape Gatorade.
2. I have the most rare blood type on earth.
3. I fell in love for the first and only time when I was 17 years old.
4. I work best under pressure, which justifies my tendency to procrastinate.
5. I am a good friend.
6. I consider myself a liberal conservative, which annoys many of my Christian friends...
7. I often use humor as a defense mechanism.
8. I will write a book someday, but haven't yet decided if it will be fiction or self-help. (o:
9. I've known my two closest friends for 24 years.
10. I am learning to forgive...
11. I struggle daily to wrap my head around the role that God's grace and capacity for forgiveness has played in my life and the life of my family.
12. I love to laugh.
13. (Just for you, Carmen and Amy) I spell words in my head as I say them... Before you ask, yes - I know that it isn't "normal."
14. I am a work in progress, but proud of who I am today and who I am becoming.
15. My husband and daughters are my biggest source of joy.
16. I wanted badly to become an Opthalmologist, but... God had other plans. (o:
17. I bought my first house when I was 18.
18. I enjoy painting... Not art, just walls and such.
19. So far, my 30's are waaaay better than my 20's were.
20. I was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but Colorado Springs is (and probably always will be) home.
21. I started going grey in my early 20's.
22. I was raised as an only child, but have a wonderful half-brother... I wish he and his family lived closer. )o:
23. I am not very domestic, but I try...
24. I helped make 3 really amazing people... (Brad helped a little too)
25. I would really like it if all my friends would post this note about themselves!