Thursday, December 19, 2013


Such a beautiful, awful thing!

Update for Lyndsay....  We heard about our house we've been waiting for!  Yay and not yay at the same time!  They approved the short sale, at the asking price, with a settlement of January 31st.  That's the yay part.  However, no seller assistance with closing costs... totally NOT yay!  That means they essentially upped our cost by $7,000 to get into this house.  After three days of "yes we can make this happen" and "no we can't are you crazy!" back and forth... we finally decided on yes we are going to try to make it work.  We can come up with the closing costs, but after we do it is the frugal life for us.  But I'm really hoping that when the dust clears it will have been worth it to be in the kind of house we want to be in.

So, today I handled two medical reimbursement issues we've had.... finally harassed Nate for his social security number so I could handle them myself instead of waiting for him.  Tada, handled!  This afternoon, I am going to withdraw $10 from my savings account which only has $36 dollars left in it and I am going to buy my son a Christmas day outfit at the consignment store because he deserves it and myself Starbucks because I'm going to need it for the days ahead lol  And then I am going to do the responsible thing that married couples do when they make a decision together and not spend any more money on myself personally until we see how this goes.

Here we go!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


2 AM. I'm sitting in my living room, trying to ignore the general clutter, marveling over all of the Santas in my living room, and enjoying my lighted Christmas tree. It's been a pretty long day, even though it's my day off, it's also the one day when I can do all of my out-of-the-house errands. I'm tired, but happy. I got to hang out with a friend today, eat an awesome home cooked meal, work on my cross stitch for several hours, and watch some really inspirational TV.  (Face Off and Heroes of Cosplay. They are awesome. )

I can't really ask for better. Sure I'm too smart for my job, and I am one phone call in the middle of my sleep cycle away from murdering my boss, but who can honestly say they love their job, really?

I've been having trouble thinking what to write here. I have a craft blog where I write about my knitting (although, haven't done that in a few weeks. ), But the rest of my personal life isn't that interesting. I've been tired and struggling with my health lately, but I don't really want to complain all the time either.  I have a lot of time to think though. My husband is upstairs asleep, and I'm supposed to stay awake until 7 AM.

I'm really excited. I think Aaron and I are really going to enjoy Christmas this year, and I'm already looking forward to next year.  I'm starting a refresher course on January 5th, which means my joyful return to a normal day time five-day a week work schedule. In April there is Stitches South and the Atlanta Renascence Festival. ( I haven't been, people say it's good, and big, but can it compare to Maryland??).

 Amanda and I are going to try to sew costumes for the fair. I want mine to double as a cosplay of the white which from Hansel and Gretel.

 It's ambitious I know, but I've become convinced that the best way to become really really good at stuff is to just jump in feet first and always try to do the best you can. I'm hoping to do some simpler sewing projects first (project bag, pillow, less crazy things, you know?), but once the Ren Fair outfits are in the bag, I really want to turn my eye to leather. My ultimate goal is to learn how to make professional quality leather corsets!

In addition, I've decided I want to try to cross stitch a few things to decorate with for the 4th of July, and if anyone has watched Heroes of Cosplay or Face Off, then you wont be surprised to know that for my summer crafting attempts, I want to get some clay and latex, and try my hands at sculpting and fabricating! They sell these net screens that you can put over a garage door that I want to get, so I can use my garage as an art studio  with lots of fresh air and light, without having to share it with all the bugs!

Anyway, that's what has been going through my head this week!

Monday, December 2, 2013


I have one last Christmas present to knit. I still have presents to buy and wrap, but only one more knit project that I'd like to have done before Christmas. "It's the only project I'm going to work on until it's done" I tell myself, "That way, even if it's not done by Christmas, I will be almost done". It's a good idea right? Except I'm already tired of the project, despite not having worked on it very much the last two months. Progress continues slowly when I am working on it, which is not very motivating, in fact the slow progress is one of the reasons I'm tired of the project. So, naturally, I need something to motivate myself, as if a deadline wasn't enough, I need something to keep me working on it. I think my idea of motivation is going to do more harm than good.

I bought more yarn.

The idea of having yarn and patterns ready to go as soon as I finish this project, in theory, should be great motivation to keep me moving. The fact that it's new yarn I haven't tried yet, should be motivation. The fact that I'll be knitting things that I will be able to enjoy myself (instead of giving them away and never seeing them again), should be motivation.

We'll have to see what happens.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

I'm still here....

Just wanted to say I'm still here, reading your posts, words just fail me right now.  Every time I think I really should do a post, I start and then erase it all.  So when it comes down to it, all I've got right now is "I'm still here" :)  I'm a strong person. Daily, losing my grandfather doesn't effect me, but deep down inside I know our world has been shaken, I mean he practically lived right down the street, it's not like I saw him twice a year or something.  So I guess the best I can say is that I feel conflicted.... fine, but not fine.  In the words of Taylor Swift "I might be ok but I'm not fine at all"  And when I think I'm fine, I remember putting together project boards for the viewing of the 50 plus cards that he received while he was in the hospital all saying how they knew he would get better and get through this so that people would know their words were heard and appreciated.  Well he didn't get better and he didn't get through it...... so..... crap!  Not fine! lol  But I'm still here!  So keep posting and I'll keep reading, and I'm sure when the numbness goes away I'll have other things to say!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Strong Women

I've been thinking about what it means to be a strong woman and a good role model for the past week. A dear friend and mentor posted a link to a youtube video last week that really got me started thinking about it in a new light. The video was a 47 minute British documentary following 6 women. Old women, in their 70s/90s. It was very inspirational for me and I wish I could link to it here. Unfortunately shortly after I watched the video youtube re-classed it and now I get an error stating 'You are not allowed to watch this from your country' which... is a post for a whole other day. I believe the video was called "FabulousFashionistas". Edit to add Here is a blog article.

Anyway, that's a whole lot of words to say that I went to sick call this morning, and unlike normal sick call visits where I disliked all of the staff and felt talked-down to or misdiagnosed by the doctor, I was very impressed by the woman I saw today.  Even before she opened her mouth I had formed a strong positive opinion of her. She was tall and thin, while still giving an impression of immense strength. She wore a long dark purple broom skirt and a dark Forrest green tank top under a flowy purple shirt. She had long dark hair in a lose braid, shot through with elegant streaks of gray. She was amazingly beautiful and filled with grace. When she spoke to me it was with compassion and understanding. I felt that not only was she actually listening to what I had to say, (rare), but that she also cared about how I felt.

Ultimately while I did not get a diagnosis on the spot, she was sure that there was something wrong. It's such a relief to have a doctor agree with me and not just tell me that the pain is all in my head - which has generally been my experience since high school. Samples have been sent off for testing and in the meantime I have about 4 different antibiotics that I am taking, plus assorted painkillers. The phrase "A cure worse than the disease" seems appropriate here so far. The pills have such strong side effects that I even have a prescription to nullify them. It's too early to tell if I'll feel better or not but it's nice to have something other than the standard "have you heard of pamprin?" or "get some ibuprofen and a heating pad."

Also, I'm really glad that I have such a great mother who fields all of my medical complaints. I have such a strong dislike/distrust of doctors that I tend to prefer my mother's recommendations over going to sick call, (because why waste 4 hours only to get a prescription for free DayQuil?), and it was through her prompting to seek treatment/testing that I finally was able to over come  personal preference and take some responsibility for my health by seeing a doctor. I know that it can be tempting to ignore problems, especially when they go away eventually or fade in and out, but if there is anything I have learned over the past few years it is that procrastination is NOT a good thing. Sure, sometimes waiting is the correct answer, many things do just get better in time on their own, but the decision to wait should be made after careful consideration of the options, and not as a blanket denial that an issue exists.

Just my two cents for the week.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

New hair person

I've never been one for having my hair cut regularly. As a kid, it was just so awkward for me--an introvert--to navigate. Do I talk to the person? What if I run out of things to say? What if they don't talk back? What if they need to concentrate? It also didn't help that the place my mom took us to get our hair cut was a beauty school, which meant new people every time we went. It didn't matter if there was someone I actually liked from the previous trip (though there never was) because by the time we went again, they had finished raining and moved on.

After college, my friend found a girl up by her (north of Baltimore, so at least a 45-minute drive for me) who we both adored. She was an easygoing extrovert who we loved chatting with and had no qualms about keeping the conversation going through two hair cuts (both me and my friend, we'd make it a girls day out). The downside was that she was only cutting hair to pay her way through dental hygiene school, which is great that she could do it that way, but left me searching for a new person after she moved on.

Since then, I've just been waiting as long as I could hold out and then sucking it up and going to Hair Cuttery for the sake of convenience. I found one girl there that I liked, but I have no idea if she's still there, she gave me her card to book appointments with her but I do still hate using the phone to call people (especially if I've never called them before) so that did not happen. Now, I'm pretty happy because one of the girls I know at work is a licensed cosmetologist and does all her family and friends' hair and she lives near me! We were chatting one day and I made a comment about not having anybody anymore and she was like "Heck I'll do it!" So I'm going to talk to her this week about setting up a time. She'll even come to my house and do it, that does not get any easier folks! She also has a 5 month old baby, I told her he was most welcome to come if she came to me lol, I love babies. She does kids hair too, which means I'll be asking her to do Joey's while she's here; he's getting shaggy and it's too cold for me to buzz him this late in the year.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Dr. Who

Lyndsay, is this showing anywhere near you???

I'm hoping to go with Jessica up here as long as Dan isn't randomly working. It's a Monday evening, I can never remember are you off Mon-Tues night or is that your first night in? If you can you should totally go because then we can pretend we're all sitting in the same theater but different seats while we watch it :) <3

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Night and Day

My husband and I are currently working odd shifts, and let me tell you it is not fun. The up side is that it is temporary, but that is pretty small comfort in the every day moments. He works 'swings' which means he works from 2PM until 11 PM five days a week. I work 'mids' which is 9PM to 7AM four days a week. I get Saturday, Sunday, and Monday off, with the cavet being that on Saturday I'd really like to sleep until about 5 PM before getting up.

When I first started working this shift, I did everything I could to stay on schedule during my weekends, but it's hard sleeping when Aaron is at home eating, playing computer games, or watching TV, which is what he tends to do in the mornings before going to work. Now, I find myself staying up during the day on weekends and then trying to take a quick nap from 2PM until 6PM on my first day back to work. Yikes! I'm not really sure what else to do. I've talked to other people on my shift and it seems like being up all day on your days off is pretty much a standard practice. And especially now with holidays coming up I really need to be awake during the day - not all chrimstas shopping can be done on-line!

Jeanne, I don't think you are going to like the answer to my question.

Lyndsay, I know you and Aaron are on opposite shifts right now, do you find it difficult to make meals? Dan's usually working when I'm ready for dinner, so either it's a "fend for yourself" dinner night or I'll make dinner and put his half straight in the fridge for later (separated from my work lunch portion of course). Usually by the time I get to dinner, I don't feel like actually making anything and throw a frozen meal in the microwave or toaster oven.

The short answer is "yes, but then again, not really."
It's difficult to plan meals, but I've also completely stopped making meals for Aaron during the work week.

That's because left to his own devices Aaron prefers to simply not eat more than one meal a day. He also develops strange amnesia like symptoms about leftovers. Even if I cook something SPECIFICALLY to eat on a later date, once it gets put in the fridge it gains 'leftover status' and he forgets that it's there.

When we worked the same hours, I would cook dinner when I got hungry and 80% of the time he would also eat it. I'd also prepare meals to take to lunch and pack his lunches along with mine. However, those lunches sometimes went uneaten. When I switched to working nights I tried to continue to make meals in advance for both of us.... But if I was alseep when he left for work he simply would not remember to take his with him. Now I save myself the trouble and don't bother.

I still make meals for us both on weekends, and I usually try to make extra to last me at least one day at work.  I usually eat 'breakfast' at around 8 AM before collapsing into bed. I try to wake up an hour or two before I have to go to work - enough time to make rice and something simple to go with it. I'll either bake chicken in the oven, scramble an egg, or fry up some vegitables in the frying pan (zucinni in olive oil is my favorite. ) I'll eat some then and then take the rest to eat at work for 'dinner'. I've tried to do frozen meals but haven't had much success with them.

I've also got into the habbit of buying snack veggies to take to work. My favorites are;

1.) grapes, I rense them in vinegar to get all that icky white film off
2.) Cuccumbers. Sliced. I bring salt and pepper to sprinkle on them.
3.) Clementines. Although this time of year you've got to be careful, even if they look OK they might still taste icky.
4. ) peanut butter to dip pretty much anything in.

I looks like I had written a post about halloween......And it sat as a draft and never got posted? I've posted it, now. It's back dated.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Making dinner for 10 people...

Just wanted to say I don't like it.... and that's pretty much all I have to say about it!

In other news... I don't often want to go out and see movies but I find myself really wanting to see all the big action movies on the big screen.  Tonight we're actually getting out to see the new Thor movie, I'm excited about that.  Do I actually want to go to the movies and spend money, nope!  But do I want to see Thor on the big screen, yep!  So off we go!

And in other other news.... my grandfather had a really good day yesterday so I was told :)  Can't give any details publicly, but it was the best report in well over a week!

In other other other ( I promise this is the last other) news.... It is only 5:48 and it's DARK and I'm cold, which makes me tired.... such is life lol

That is all!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Dan ate the Halloween candy

I mean, we separated out the ones we really wanted (Reese Cups, Reeses Pieces, and Kit Kat Bars) and didn't even offer those to the kids who came to the door (gave out Whoppers, Milk Duds, Snickers, etc.) but we didn't get too many trick or treaters so there was a bunch of candy left over. I came home from work the day after Halloween and there are like 4 boxes of Milk Duds and a pack of Whoppers left. Whatever, I'm eating my Reese Cups really slow so that they're still here long after he finishes his ;)

Joey just found some Sweet Tarts, score!

Jeanne says hi

I started this earlier this morning, here it is!

Hello Blogging World! Here is an introductory post on who will be posting here and what we may be posting about! Jessica, Lyndsay, and I (Jeanne) have known each other since childhood. All three of us are homeshooling alumni (that's how we met actually) and now though we're separated physically by distance, we're hoping that this blog can help keep us in touch and updated on each others' lives.

A little background on me. I'm married with two kids, I'm the primary breadwinner in my family, working 40+ hours a week at a desk in an office (WOHM - Work Out of Home Mom). Sometimes I even get to walk around and see daylight ;) I would like to be a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) but right now we'll definitely settle for my husband staying home with the kids--saving us tons of money on daycare. He works in the evenings, so we sort of trade shifts with the kids, he'll go to work after I get home. Both of us are martial artists, though he's a much higher rank than me (3rd Dan, I'm only 1st Dan) and he does still practice/train, it's been several years for me due to work/school/money/life. We are pretty crunchy granola in our parenting style (more me than him though he goes along with my shenanigans), we breastfeed, cloth diaper (most of the time), co-sleep, though a lot of that is because I'm lazy or cheap ;) My hobbies include knitting, photography, watching movies/TV, and I've even got a video podcast going (that I need to record again, I'm behind schedule!).

Things that have been going on in my life to keep Jessica and Lyndsay updated...

I finally feel like we have a plan worked out with our house and potentially getting a new house in the future. I've been saying that Baby #3 will not come until we have a new house and new vehicle, because getting pregnant now would mean that we HAD to get those sooner than expected. Currently our tiny house is busting at the seams with the four of us, and the boys are only 2.5 and almost-1 (gah, only a couple weeks away from a 1st birthday!). Staying organized and mostly-tidy is difficult in a small space with so much stuff, often times laundry is pulled straight out of the clean basket and put on instead of being put away. Anyway, back to the plan. currently estimates the value at our house much higher than we have left on the loan, much of this is due in part to houses in our neighborhood getting "flipped" when they go on the market (bought then upgraded, then resold). So we're slowly making improvements on our house to make it worthy of that estimate. This way, when we do sell, we'll ask more than we hope to get, and hopefully sell at way higher than we paid for it, and the difference will be the down payment on a bigger house. As an instant-gratification-type, I have a difficult time with this long term plan (it's like a 5ish year plan), and need to keep reminding myself that we're taking baby steps to a huge goal. The other part of that plan, new vehicle, is that we take part of the difference from selling the house and trade in one of our cars for a mini van. Normally, I would lean more towards a crossover vehicle or small SUV type thing, but Honda just made an Odessy with a built in vacuum! By the time we're going to be in the market for a vehicle, there will be plenty of those on the used car lots and we should be able to pick one up on the cheap.

I'm going back and forth between being good at sticking to my budget and just completely disregarding it and buying things anyway. I've at least been much better about buying food at work (my biggest downfall) because I would sleep too late to make myself lunch and barely get out the door on time. I was much better about it at my last job where I HAD to take a lunch because I wasn't always at a place with a cafeteria or access to food I could purchase. If it was sleep and go hungry, or wake up and have food, I got up. I'm trying my best to stick to that idea now even though I have access to a cafeteria everyday. It's far cheaper to buy snacks at the grocery store than it is to buy them here, so the key for me is remembering to buy the snacks while I'm grocery shopping. I also need to make extra dinner on a consistent basis so leftovers are easy to grab-and-go in the morning for lunch. Lyndsay, I know you and Aaron are on opposite shifts right now, do you find it difficult to make meals? Dan's usually working when I'm ready for dinner, so either it's a "fend for yourself" dinner night or I'll make dinner and put his half straight in the fridge for later (separated from my work lunch portion of course). Usually by the time I get to dinner, I don't feel like actually making anything and throw a frozen meal in the microwave or toaster oven.

Speaking of dinner, I have two wired and crazy boys (not to mention cranky) who are just going nuts from lack of naps today (don't even get me started), so talk about not feeling like making anything...

Monday, November 4, 2013


Thought I would add this one to the pictures :)
As soon as we have a house, whichever that may be, I'm getting this one and the graduation one framed for sure!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

A Tiny Little Haunting

Halloween is my favorite Holiday.  That's probably because I've never really grown out of my 'dress up' phase. Love it! Unfortunately, being an adult means that sometimes Halloween takes second place. Thursday 31st I passed out candy to trick or treaters while desperately atempting to finish my halloween costume - I had meant to be corpse bride and was sewing a corset and altering a white dress from goodwill, but a series of events beyond my control meant I was way behind on making  it!
 I got the corset done by midnight, but never even started on the alterations. Oh no!  I'd wanted to wear my costume on Saturday for our Halloween party, but there was no way I could finish it in time and still sleep.  I really like sleep. A lot. So I skipped it.

Oh well. I have my pink wig and some crazy clashing cloths, so I guess I'll be a clown instead!

Had fun at the party. Even put in the extra effort to grab some festive tablecloths, and I might have cleaned a little more than normal.

Aaron was Vegeta For halloween. What a fun name to try to spell. Also, someone used it as an answer during a game of loaded questions, and the reader had some pretty interesting guesses on how to pronounce it ;)


So Halloween is over until next year. You better believe I'm going to start sewing sooner next time!

I scare because I care :)

Why yes of course he needs more 2T long sleeved shirts!!!

Especially when they are only 3 for $1 at a flea market!  Rachel has this wonderful little habit of going to the 8th Avenue flea market every weekend and do I say "no thanks I have everything I need"  Of course not! And every time I go I tell myself Oliver and I have everything we need and I'm just going to look.  Fat chance!  There's this tent that these people own on the corner of the lot and man do they know how to sell things.  Most things they want like fifty cents or a dollar for.  I did buy this memory book with really pretty velvet on the outside for two dollars but it was unique in that each slot is for a note card and I plan to write one memory on each as it happens and stick it in.  So that was worth more.  But for example this baby toy that you know is at least $5 at walmart (sad that I know that, but thats how many baby showers I've shopped for) she only wanted a quarter for it.  Sold!  Then, kicker of all kickers, she had a bin full of baby and some toddler clothes.  Every time I go anywhere I tell myself that Oliver does not under any circumstances need ANY MORE long sleeved 2T shirts.... but I love them!!!  They look so cute on him.  The bin was fifty cents each or 3 for $1 and guess what was in there, yep long sleeved 2T shirts.  Did I put them down and say he has enough, ummm no!  So yeah thats my story of the day.

In adult responsible business I am supposed to be budgeting right now, but am I doing that, of course not! Good news though is that since Nate is doing his masters degree, he can have his student loans deferred! While its still only an extra $148 dollars that opens up because of it, it couldn't have happened at a better time especially since we have to start paying for our pod this month.  Blah.

Anyways... hope you two are having a good weekend :)

P.S  Lyndsay.... Oliver attended his first ever Mackall Halloween party.... you should have seen him.  I took him down the basement since he kept hearing the music.  I put him down at the bottom of the stairs and he takes off running right into the middle of the "dance floor", comes to a dead stop, and jamming out perfectly to the beat!  It was so awesome!  He was also my "grown up" excuse to go this year ;)