Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Meet Jax

Travis' grandparents came into town for Trav's spring break. It was wonderful, and I felt like I was really able to bond with them. We had a great time - it was probably an instant hit when his grandmother brought with her frozen cookie dough and she told me "I like it raw!" LOL, about anyone else would completely be disgusted, but my favorite is the raw cookie dough! We loved being able to have family with us, only if it was for just a couple of days.

Monday after work, Travis and I went to have dinner with our friends Caroline and Tyler. They made us dinner and we brought over a movie. It's nice to have friends here, especially ones you can count on and be silly with.

But I was ready to have time alone with Trav since he doesn't have much of a life. So when I knew we were going to have Tuesday off, I was soooo excited!! I woke up early and was ready for some snuggling time. Instead? Trav insisted that we had to get the study room organized. Travis' grandparents brought over a desk, so we could actually sit things on and make the study feel more like.. well... a study. I was no way thrilled about spending time with Trav actually doing work.

I think Trav felt bad when he asked me what I wanted to do after we organized everything. "I want a fish and I want to go look at kitties."

Yes, I am such a child. Everyone knows that. And a trip to any local pet store, could end up being at least an hour trip because I have to look at every single creature - big or small. And sometimes, I even give them names. Usually this is something either loves or hates doing with me, but it's free entertainment, so he should be more excited to take me there. LOL.

My heart has been broken since we lost our little Archie. We weren't really considered to be cat people until we found Arch. He was the most lovable - dog cat ever. He waited for me at the door, knew how to cuddle me, loved to play with the dogs (maybe it was more "beating up" our dogs, and just followed me everywhere). He was my baby. So when he left us too early, I knew my heart would take a lot of time to mend.

We walked into a cat rescue, and the first cat we ran into was a black and white cat named "Kat Rock" who instantly started trying to play with us and rub up on him. Trav told me, "I like him". I liked him too, BUT, I didn't want to make a rush decision. I didn't want to end up with a cat just "because". This will be our family member for the rest of our/their lives. So when the girl asked me what I was looking for, I described all the characteristics of Kat Rock and told them I was looking for a "Gray Tabby or Orange Tabby". I didn't want to miss out if there was a cat out there that was "just for me".









I took a tour around the building trying to play with all the cats while having a sneezing, runny nose. I am allergic to cats, but I just forget how bad when there are multiples of them. I just didn't feel a connection with any of them, because I really wanted a Tabby, just like Archie.

But let me tell you, when we got out of exploring, there was little Kat Rock ready to play again.  I payed a little more attention to his actions, and he told me how much we were meant to be by purring every second. This little black and white cat, stole my heart. Especially after realizing that he walks with a limp (and always will, even after surgery), and got his tail amputated. We needed each other.

So Travis and I signed the paperwork, our family grew by one. Little Jax, as we named him, is now part of the family and we have enjoyed every minute of it. :)

P.S. Don't worry, I'm not becoming an animal hoarder. In 5 years, if all goes as planned, Trav and I will be growing our family with human babies (perhaps even adopted babies).
P.S.S. We did not end up getting a fish. LOL.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

I Think I Know What I Want in Life


w/ baby Xavier 2007

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

... I hate that question because I
 have no idea what I want to do for the rest of my life. 

Trav's logic for me:
"To be a mom" 

So simple. It's crazy how this man knows me better than I know myself sometimes.

I smile every time I imagine what our little kids will look like (maybe his blue eyes, my curly hair?), but I still feel like something would be missing.


But then these questions have been on our mind:


"What about fostering?" (Trav brought this up)


I love fostering animals, but foster kids? It requires a person to be so strong because CPS goal is to reunite the child with their family. I honestly don't know if we're strong enough for that, but it is def. possible because although I'm scared of grieving the child having to be reunited, I am more afraid of what will happen if no one is willing to take the risk to love.
 I would love to welcome a child into our home to experience what a stable family environment will be like. I will be scared because it is different than fostering kids where we got to pick the family for our fur baby fosters, but I won't get to pick the family for a child. This is def. on our hearts though and we are praying to see if this is something God wants us to do.

"What about adoption?"


All of a sudden it hit me. Out streams tears. Why has it taken me so long to figure out what I want to do in life? I just don't want to be a mom of a child that grows inside me, but instead one that grows in someone else's belly. One that I get to love one day and take care of because for some reason their family is unable to.


As soon as Trav came home I told him. We talked about it and prayed about it. We will continue to pray about it until we are both certain that its something we both want to. Our plan is to start a family in 5 years - that way Trav graduates, we have some time to ourselves before we start a family and travel and do a mission trip or two along the way.



"I have learned that I will not change the world. Jesus will do that. I can, however, change the world for one person. So I keep stopping and loving one person at a time. Because this is my call as a Christian." - Katie Davis



Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Little Thing That Makes Me Smile


I stumbled across this blog post tonight, as I searched for certain posts (I guess I didn't post it previously?). Tatum makes me laugh, as well as Trig when it comes to them watching animals on T.V. If they see an animal, they will cock their head to the side and will drop any toy in their mouth to focus on the T.V. They remind me of little kids but I guess that is because they are our babies :)


Things I Wish I Could Tell Myself When I was Younger


Life doesn't make a whole lot of sense sometimes, even as I get older, but I wish I would have taken more time when I was younger to appreciate life as every day is a blessing. 

These are some things that I have learned along the way and wish I would have known.


*People are going to disappoint you a lot more than you could even imagine.

-Sometimes you expect too much out of someone because you would be willing to do that for them. 
-Family is not what you thought of when you were younger. You think the world of your family and think they can do no wrong. You will see the true spirits of others when family members die, get jealous of each other, and they will not always want the best for you. You will learn who the true family members are within time.
-You will never understand why the world is so cruel. People are going to hurt others (other beings, children, and animals) and treat them worse than you could even imagine.
-You will have a major heart break before you meet Mr. Right. You think that with time things will eventually get better within time. They instead get worse. You are too scared to let go because he makes you believe that you are nothing of importance.The thing that hurts the most is that he has no problem looking you in the face and telling you lie after lie. It's not the fact of losing a long time boyfriend, but you don't understand how someone could hurt a person like that and have no feelings about it. You don't deserve the way he treats you and you will have a lot of time rebuilding yourself. Although you will stay in this relationship too long, you appreciate the small things in relationships, and you will learn what you don't want in a relationship. When your knight and shining armor comes along, he will give you love beyond words. He is the type of person that you want to be and he will appreciate that you are the happiest with the smallest things. If you may have never gone through this, you may have never met your stud muffin husband.
-Everyone will disappoint you once in a while (nobody is perfect, especially you), including friends, family, your husband and even yourself. You will just have to figure out who is worth the tears and who is not. 
-You will never understand why certain people are dishonest. Many will sue each other and make a way in life for it (and it is something they shouldn't go after people for). These people you feel bad for because they are not happy with themselves and they believe that the only thing in life that will make them happy is money. Money can't buy you everything. With more people like this in the world, it makes everyone in life a little more cautious about what they do and how they do it. They take all the fun out of it for everyone.
-Many people in this world have no morals. They sin differently than you do, so although you may not agree with it, God will judge them; not you.

*Grow as a Person

-You will drop out of Spanish - twice. You will take American Sign Language instead. You will love it, but you forget it after you're done with the class. Try staying up with it because you're going to wish you had.
-Pay attention in history class. You're fascinated with it when you get older. 
-Instead of focusing on boys when you're a teen, you should try new things. Boys won't matter as much, and you're experiences  in life will.
-Read more. There are these things called books - you should open a few.
-Sit down and read the bible. Talk to God. Pray more.
-Listen more to what people tell you instead of listening to what you want to hear. 
-Talk to more people than just people you know. You can learn a lot. 
-Do you're body good and start eating healthy, because you will have to force yourself when you are older. Junk food does nothing good for your body.
-Try new things; experience life. After all, you won't live in same little town forever.
-Ask questions. Learn new things.

*Spend more time with true friends and family.

-They mean everything to you.
-Give everyone more hugs and kisses, as you may not know when they will leave this earth.
- Appreciate the time you have with family members too late. You can learn how to crochet from Grandma G., and have daily lunches with Grandma Z. You could have learned how to swim better because of Grandpa G and learned how to do one of those brain puzzles from Grandpa Z. You will miss not having them around to show you these things/be there for special parts in your life.
-Respect your parents more. They have lived life a little longer than you have, and they know what's up.
-Try to call friends a little more. When you're older, everyone has their own life which sometimes makes it difficult, but you want to be that type of friend that everyone relies on.
-Family is not always blood. It's those who know the true you and still would do anything for you.
-Your husband is everything that you want to be. He is the most incredible guy ever and words can't even describe how perfect he is for you. However, remember, he is not perfect. And neither are you for that matter.
-Your family is wonderful, and you will become much more of a homebody because you can't get enough of them.
-Your love for people and animals is your passion.

Focus on What's Important to You

-Those people that you spend so much time trying to impress, don't care about you. And you will learn that you don't care about them. Why would you want to be friends with others who bring you down?
-It's not important what others think of you, it's what you think of yourself. You don't need to wear the fancy clothes and try to fit in. Don't waste time trying to be someone you're not.
-Spend more time doing the things that you love.
-Enjoy every moment of now.
-Don't expect God to answer all of your prayers. Why? Because that's not his plan for you. He knows what's better for you.
-Don't take things for granted.
-The right one is worth the wait.
-Stick with your morals.
-Forgive more easily. People make mistakes, so do you.
-You are a beautiful person inside and outside. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
-Listen to your heart. If something tells you that it's not right, it probably isn't.
-Practice kindness, because maybe someday, you will make a difference. 





Sunday, January 20, 2013

Valentine's Day Mantel

Something that makes me incredibly happy is decorating our home. The thing I love about our new home is that there is a fireplace! Which means... I had to head up the dollar tree ASAP. Valentine's Day is a little ways from now, but, I couldn't help my self. (I'm no HGTV, but I can dream, right?)

Thank you Pinterest for your inspiration! :)


I actually wanted a mirror to decorate our mantel with, and when I got one on clearance from Kirklands for $30, it fell off the mantel and shattered in a million little pieces. 7 years of bad luck? I sure hope not! We had that picture in our bedroom in the hous in Phoenix (even though I couldn't stand it), we brought it to the new house, and I'm so glad we did, because I really like it where it is now (and it fits in with the furniture we bought).



I wanted to make my own banner, but our printer was out of ink. And this one from the dollar tree was only a $1. 




I also got the candle holders from Kirklands (and yes, I applied there since I love it so much!) The frame was actually a wedding frame that was given to us. I added a printable saying from Pinterest (found here) and found $1 heart ribbon at Target. The little red hearts on the mantels, were also from the Dollar Tree.



I bought the clear container at Marshall's. (Also, something I will use each holiday and decorate it with something new). I bought two bags at the dollar tree of little plastic hearts to fill. The Lilley wedding sign was one of our most favorite wedding presents, from friends Kara and Ryan. The love birds are actually from a decoration that I bought on clearance after Valentine's Day a couple years back. It broke and I was devastated, but I really like that it stands alone now. 

I can't wait for the next holiday to decorate the mantel! :) I must say, for the first time decorating my own mantel, I really like it - and love the Dollar Tree/the dollar section at Target even more!

I linked up to:



Friday, January 18, 2013

DIY Card Organizer


Let's be honest we all have cards laying around that we keep. (Okay, maybe just I do), but I saw a pinterest idea for card organization. Since it seemed pretty easy and a nice way to organize, I had to do it. All you need is some binder clips (I got mine at Hobby Lobby) and a hole punch. 

And look at this, it's organized! :) Plus it's a neat way to looking through your cards and makes you feel way better about your organization skills. :)


The little things make me so happy :)




Sunday, January 13, 2013

New Adventures in Jan 2013

Since January started:

1.) We are finally settling into our new home. We love it. It has such a wonderful cozy feeling. (I know you guys are waiting on pics, but please be patient with me because I want to make our place semi-cute before putting anything up!) 


2.) Our fence has finally been built. Everything here in Tennessee takes a lot longer, and we may have to wait 2 weeks to get a fence, but it's finally here. Trig has had a tough time for the last two weeks of going potty inside (on the carpet). His ADD takes control of him, and he just couldn't figure out how to use the bathroom on his leash as he had to sniff everything and hear everything. It's been beneficial for us all to have something like a fence.

3.) I start my new job tomorrow :) I am ecstatic.

4.) I feel as though I have a lot more motivation here. I have been cooking and cleaning much more than I have ever before. This is probably because we have no T.V. Insane right? Yah, that's pretty much what everyone thinks. I think it's been a good thing for us. We are focused on things that we want to accomplish, and we're not bothered by having the drama on t.v. and staying up to watch a certain football game, or whatnot. Our attention is on each other when we get home. (Although we still watch an occasional movie on Netflix once in a while).


6.) Our hot tub is AHHHH-AMAZING. I can't get enough of it. It's so nice to relax with Trav with the privacy of our backyard. Our fireplace is so incredible too. Trav thinks it gets the living room too warm, but Tatum and I enjoy it very much.




7.) We're not spending as much money as we usually do. When we moved to the home in Phoenix, we were spending money like crazy. Maybe it's because we don't have money to spend (since Trav's not working, and I don't start my job until tomorrow), but I like it. I have bought a few items, but I'll be more than happy to take them back if need be. Also, we have a lot of stuff that we already had in our previous home (this is probably the main reason) and we're just reusing the stuff (even if I'm not a huge fan of it).


8.) We have already made some really close friends here. You know, the friends that you think are going to be with you/you're going to communicate for the rest of your lives? I don't know, that's the feeling I get from them, probably mainly because they are awesome.


9.) We found "our" church. All 4 of us did (which I thought was going to be impossible). I'm actually excited to go back. I fell in love with it the moment that one of the ushers came running out with an umbrella to help us inside since it was pouring outside. It's actually a church that has a mix of old school and new school. It's really neat.


10.) Trav's grandparents are going to be coming at the end of the month to bring some additional items down and to visit. We've never had any of the grandparents come to our house in Phoenix, so we're pretty excited. :) 


11.) Trav is always studying. It's a good thing, but it's sad for the puppies and I. 




I mean, look at those sad little faces. :( We all miss daddy! Previous students do tell us that it gets better once the students start clinical's so I'm looking forward to that.

12.) Tennessee is a beautiful state (when it's not raining like it will be for the next week). I'm so glad that we're starting an adventure here since we've always wanted to move here. People here sure are friendly. They'll have a conversation with you just for the heck of it. Waitress/Waiters always ask "Do you want some sweet tea?" Everyone says, "Ya'll" And you'll get lots of welcomes to visit different people's churches. Tennessee is actually a lot like the song "Southern Comfort" by Brad Paisley. In case you don't know the words, you can get them here:



Monday, January 7, 2013

New Years

Yay for 2013 being here! 2013 will bring us so many adventures. :) I'm so excited to read all of your posts about your New Years.

For our New Years:





Trav made us one AMAZING dinner. (No it was not planned in our meals for the month of Jan), but Trav wanted to use his creativity and make us something for our last meal of 2012. It's brats with Alfredo sauce, and vegts (mushrooms, carrots, cauliflower, red and orange peppers). Let me tell you, this man is one heck of a cook. (Thank goodness, because I am not).

This might be a little too much for you to handle, but we ended the year of 2012 skinny dipping in our hot tub. You have to have a little fun in life. It was the best way to end a year.


We watched the ball go down and had sipped on champagne and had some ice cream. Ben and Jerry's Oatmeal Cookie Chunk. It was so good.


Not going to lie, 2012 was a wonderful year and we enjoyed celebrating one of the best years of our lives with our little family!






Trav's First Day of School

(Excuse the mess in the background - 
still in the process of getting things situated)

We had no idea that this day was going to come by so quick. Trav started his first day of his Master's program on Jan. 2nd. It was so sad saying bye to him, and wishing him good luck on his first day of school. I was almost in tears. I can't even imagine what it will be like seeing our kids go off to their first day of school. I will be heart broken, knowing that they are growing up too fast. Even little Tatum looks sad knowing that his dad is starting school.

31 more months of Trav having to studying his butt off until he can become a CRNA. And while he's at school, I'm going to have to be the one and only bread winner. I don't even have a job yet!

Baby, I'm so proud of you. It's all going to pay off in the end.

And yes, in case you were wondering, he had an excellent first day of school :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

January Food Ideas

So I discovered this blog that I'm in LOVE with thanks to Pinterest! It's called Blissful and Domestic - Thrifty Living, Homeschool and Big Smiles. It has so much helpful advice on being thrifty. This girl seems to do it all - homeschool her children, be a loving wife, live on a strict budget, makes wonderful meals, AND seems to have enough time to share everything she does on her blog. She seems like a wonder woman.

One of the things I have learned from following her post is: grocery shop for a whole month to save money on groceries.


...What?? How do you do that???... You can read all about it on her blog that is uber amazing.


Since we're now on a budget ourselves (okay, so maybe we're just watching our money), I tried to do it. And when I went to the store, I was surprised how much money we actually spent. I thought it was going to be WAY, WAY more. I was thrilled when I came home and put our stuff in the fridge and pantry (mostly because it fit, unlike our old house) and it's just nice to know the food supplies you have. There may be some minor things that still need to be added, but it's my first try at this, and I'm pretty proud of myself. *Pat's self on back*


So here's my meal plan for the month of January. Now remember, I'm not for certain this is going to work for everyone, but for the hubby and I, I think we can make it work.



Breakfast Ideas:
English Muffins (we eat mostly these, so we have to go to the store a couple times because we run out of them otherwise)
Eggs/Bacon

Lunch:
Grilled Cheese w/ Tomato Soup
Refried Beans w/ Taco Shells
Cheese and Crackers
Tuna Salad
Salad
Peanut Butter & Jelly
Chicken/Ham Sandwiches
Chips and Salsa

Dinner: *There may not be a lot of meal options here for you that's because we use a lot of left overs from the night before, go out to dinner, or sometimes we have a light meal (PB&J) so make sure to plan accordingly*
Chili 
Tacos
Hamburgers (we wrap our hamburgers in lettuce to make it healthier)
Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu
Chicken Stir Fry (Chicken with just veggies)
Chili Cheese Dogs

We are planning on making enough food mostly for left-overs for the next day. Danielle, from Blissful and Domestic, states to get your staples through Costco, or Sam's. So we got chicken, ground turkey, shredded cheese, butter, etc. there. We tried to organize it as best as we could so it would be easier to find. 

Now you may be asking what our sides are - we're not a side types of people. When we do happen to do sides, usually it's frozen vegts/brown rice. We substitute a lot of recipes with healthier versions: brown rice, ground turkey, low-fat items. You can choose whatever you'd like.

We also substitute different seasonings for different things, whatever sounds good because half the time we don't have the seasonings/think other seasonings will work better.

This is what our shopping list consisted of:

Cheeses
Shredded Mozzarella 
Cheese in container (the cheese you cut off for crackers, whatever kind you'd like)
American cheese slices
Velveeta Cheese
Feta (for our salads)
Parmesan

Cold Stuff
Milk 
Sour Cream
Stick Butter
Butter in a container (Easier for English Muffins)

Meats
Chicken Breasts (We get a large one through Sam's)
Hamburgers
Bacon
Hot Dogs
Sausage
Ground Turkey (what we prefer)/Ground Beef
Deli Ham & Chicken

Vegts
Green Onions
Red Onions
Mushrooms
Green Peppers (at least 4)
Colored Peppers (yummy)
Potatoes
Celery
Carrots
Tomatos - large and small (small for salads)
Lettuce (now this is the thing that Trav LOVES and we're probably have to go back more often for)

Frozen

Frozen Vegts (for sides - we usually do broccoli and cheese)
Frozen Cauliflower
Frozen Stir Fry
Frozen Broccoli 

Cans
Tomato Soup - 3 cans (so we have extras, we love tomato soup)
Tomato Sauce - 1 can
Refried Beans - 3 cans (we love this stuff too for lunch)
Kidney Beans - 1 can
Great Northern Beans - 1 can
Cream of Chicken Soup - 1 can
Cream of Cheddar Soup - 1 can
Chicken Broth - 1 can
Chili No Beans - 1 can

Seasoning/Spices
Chili powder (we didn't have)
*Sauces/Seasonings that you may need*
Taco Seasoning - 2-3 packages

Boxed/Packaged Items
Brown Rice - boil
Honey
Crackers
Taco Shells
Bread
English Muffins
Hot Dog/Hamburger Buns, if needed (we usually wrap our hamburgers in lettuce to make it healthier)
Peanut Butter
Jelly
Mayo
Ketchup
Mustard
Syrup (we use "real" Maple syrup because we think it tastes better)
Chips
Salsa

Baking
Flour
White Sugar
Brown Sugar
Baking Soda
Baking Powder
Olive Oil/Vegt. Oil

We also had our list of randoms which included stamps, a trash can for the house, and etc. Planning and shopping for a month takes a lot of time, but it makes me so happy to know that we're pretty much set for the month. If we run out/forget something we can just run into the store and come right out, instead of shopping for anything/everything. You can try your own recipes and whatnot to make things better, you have to bare with me, as I'm not a big cook. Now, I'm not sure what days I'm going to make what - but I do know that I need to use up certain things first, such as the milk/vegts before they go bad.

I'll let you know how this turns out and will share some recipes as well.

P.S. I'm not sure how all these recipes will turn out, I haven't tried them all out yet. If you try/tried them, please let me know how they turned out so I know to delete them, or not waste any one else's time.





2012 Year in Review

I know I've stated this like a hundred times or so, but this year, literally flew by. I'm sure that 2013 will do the same. I hope you have all a very happy, healthy, full of good memories heading your way for 2013!

Our 2012 recap:

Jan:

Celebrated New Years in Indiana while Trav worked in Arizona and couldn't get the time off. :(

Trav and I got a roommate, but it was short lived when he decided to move in with his girlfriend.

Feb:

Adopted out Sweetie, one of our foster dog's, to a new home. Sweetie was with us for almost a whole year. We are so proud of her.



Went to our first horse race.



Threw our first Super Bowl party.



Registered for some fun things for our wedding.



March:




April: 

Had to say goodbye to our family member, Archie. It was one of the hardest things ever.


Went to our first professional hockey game. It was awesome.


Sent out our save the dates.



May:

We celebrated my 25th birthday.


Friends and family threw me a bridal shower in Indiana.



My best friend, Jocelyn, and her husband Joel, had their wedding in Indiana.



We decided to foster kitties because Archie would love it.


Found out that Trav got into school!!!!

June:

Went to a lake to cool down from Phoenix weather.


July:

My parents came to visit and we went to Jerome, AZ.


Aug:

Made some new good friends, who became our relator and helped us put our house on the market.

We did a weekend camping trip with friends Matt and Dana.


We sold the house!

Sept:

We found little Trigger right before we moved. Although he had an owner at the time, they told us to "Just shoot him" and asked us if we wanted him. He became a family member soon afterwards.


Oct:

Mary Beth, a friend, held a shower for me at work :)



We packed up our stuff. Trav moved our stuff to TN with a friend and then came to Indiana.

The girls threw me an awesome bachelorette party- country style!


We had our rehearsal at the location we were supposed to have the ceremony at.


Families got together at the rehearsal dinner.


We got hitched!


Took some incredibly cute wedding photos.


And had an awesome reception.


Then honeymooned in Hawaii.



And swam with some sharks!


Came back and put in our two week notice for work.

Nov:

We lived with friends, Matt and Dana, for the first 2-3 weeks back in Phoenix.

We officially left Phoenix.

And made an offer on a house in TN!

Then we moved in with the mother-in-law and enjoyed time in Indiana with friends and family.

Celebrated Thanksgiving with three families :)



Traded our truck for a 2013 Toyota Corolla so we wouldn't have any more payments.



I went to my first Ohio State game with Trav. It was "the game". They won!




Dec:

We put together a last minute Ugly Sweater Christmas party.



Moved into our new home in TN.



Celebrated Trav's 26th birthday.

And enjoyed our favorite little fur balls and all their cuteness :)



2012 - You rocked! Thank you for being so good to us. It was full of adventures, new promises, and some stress, but we couldn't ask for much more!

2013 - We are looking (okay I am) for a much more quieter year!