Thursday, February 28, 2013

Word up, yo

Everyone has their quirks, whether we want to admit it or not. So just for funsies (and in the spirit of over-sharing), I thought I’d share some of mine with you….
At least once a week, I try to put the milk in the pantry.
A lot of times when I’m cooking, I try to put something in the trash can that doesn’t belong there…butter…syrup….gallon of milk…bread. You name it and I’ve probably tried to throw it away.
I say “like” way too much. You know those silly teenagers where the girls talk stupid and say stuff like such as “And he was like…..and I was like….and then he was like…..” Yea, that’s me except without the dumb accent.
I talk to my dog like as though he’s a baby.
Recently I’ve started whistling when I’m thinking really hard. I’ve noticed that if I’m walking through the parking lot at work thinking about what I need to do or if I’m sitting in my house concentrating on something, I start whistling. Not a bad thing, I guess…except when you consider the fact that I can’t whistle. Sometimes I can get an actual whistle sound, but it doesn’t sound anything like resembling to a song AT ALL….it sounds like resembles a dying pigeon.
I talk to myself. A LOT. I talk to myself when other people are around. I read what I’m texting out loud to myself. I ask myself questions and then I answer myself. But that isn’t a new thing at all….I’ve always done that. I blame my father….he does it too.
Whenever I get up from the table to leave a restaurant, I always have a sudden urge to drink the rest of my drink. It’s like as if I’m thinking that I am about to enter a desert (dessert? desert?) where I won’t be able to drink anything for five days. Or I’m just weird. That’s also a viable possibility.
I like to enjoy adding lame 90’s phrases to my conversations. Some examples include:
Any combination of the above (i.e. “word up dude”, “ yo, what’s up homie?”, etc.)

That last one seriously drives Roman nuts, and I think that’s the main reason why I do it. After all, I can’t be the perfect wife can I??!?

Alright, I’ve given more than enough information to embarrass myself here. I know you people have your own little quirks that make you weird like me too….so spill it in the comments section, yo.
“Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’”      ~Psalm 126:2

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Horsin' Around

Every morning I leave for work before Roman is even out of the bed. So before I walk out the door, I always kiss him on the cheek and tell him I love him. Sometimes he is able to coherently respond…other times he stays sound asleep. A couple of weeks ago, I did not have my jeans on yet because they were in the dryer. But I was not going back into our bedroom, so I went ahead and kissed Roman on the cheek and told him I loved him. He was awake this time and responded with his groggy “I love you too, be careful.” Except right as I walked out of the door he shouted “hey, you forgot to put your pants on!!!” It was pretty funny….guess you had to be there. Except you couldn’t be there because I wasn’t wearing pants. ANYWAYS, so now when I leave in the mornings I say “I love you baby. I’m wearing pants today” and Roman gives a sleepy nod of approval.
This has nothing to do with anything.
I may or may not have said anything about them before, but I have two horses…. One of my horses is a full-blooded quarter horse named Stardust. She’s a sweetheart, although she kind of likes to be by herself. The other horse is half quarter horse, half appaloosa and his name is Cupid. Cupid is very special. VERY special.
I got Cupid when he was only five or six months old. My teenage self wanted him so that Stardust could have a friend and also because I thought it would be fun to raise a baby horse. Cue the side-look at my parents and the all important question: What were you guys THINKING when you said yes to this crazy idea??!??
When I first met Cupid, he had a bunch of scars across the front of his right shoulder. “What happened to him?” I asked. “He was running with his half-brother and ran through a barbwire fence because he couldn’t stop.”  …..That should have been a clue. A few weeks later and sweet little Cupid was moved to his new home. Stardust decided that he was her baby and they got along really well. Note to all you people: sweet little Cupid did not stay sweet long. Don’t get me wrong, he is really pretty and really smart, but he is also really stubborn and a pain in the butt. He also enjoys biting electric fences while they are on. Did I mention he was special??  
I recently made the decision to board my two horses at a friend’s house. I’m not home enough to really take care of them, and my Dad doesn’t even really like them, so they weren’t getting a whole lot of attention. Plus, my friend is going to train Cupid so he won’t be such a blockhead. This past Sunday afternoon was moving day…it was also the day that I *almost* decided to just shoot Cupid and sell him so he can be turned into glue. Okay, that’s a little extreme.
Cupid has a love-hate relationship with trailers. When he was young, he freaked out while loading into a trailer, reared up, banged his head, fell over, and got stuck upside down. So on one side, he’s pretty terrified of them. On the other side, he is like a horse version of Curious George. Leave a horse trailer out in the pasture with the doors open and he stays in there…I guess because horse trailers are fun UNLESS someone wants you to actually be in the horse trailer.
My Dad laughed at me when I told him we were moving the horses on Sunday afternoon. “Good luck getting Cupid in the trailer” he stated. “Whatever, he’ll be fine. I’m more worried about getting Stardust in there…she hates trailers.” I just love it when I’m trying to prove my dad wrong….it always leads me to do something stupid. So when it comes time to load up the horses, I decide to load Cupid first. He’s such a curious horse that he’ll load right up, and when Stardust sees that he is in there, she won’t want to be left behind so she’ll load right up too….then we can all be on our merry little way and the all will be right in the world. (If that is not sarcastic enough for you people, then I don’t know what is.)
As I guessed, Cupid got right in the trailer after only about five minutes of sweet-talking and bribing him with grain. I walked him up to the front of the trailer and clipped his halter to the short rope so he couldn’t go anywhere. And that is where I made my fatal mistake.
If I had left Cupid untied and just closed the gate behind him, he probably would have been fine. But as soon as I clipped his head and place and he realized that he was stuck…he panicked. I’m not exactly sure what happened next….I think he slammed his head into mine which then slammed the back of my head into the trailer….but I’m honestly not sure. All I know is that in a split second, I had gotten hit twice and Cupid was no longer in the trailer. THANK GOD his halter was a little too big, so when he jerked his head it came right off. Had it not come off, things probably would have been a lot worse. But for the next hour, things were a lot worse. Stubborn Cupid emerged…and he was NOT getting in that trailer again.
After my friend fought with him for a few minutes, we decided to try a different approach: load Stardust and then maybe once he sees that the trailer did not try to kill her, Cupid will load up. She walked right in without any trouble at all. I did NOT clip her head to the side of the trailer and instead closed the gate behind her and got out. Cupid did not care. He pulled and kicked and reared up and snorted and threw his head around like he was at a scream-o concert.
My poor friend got yanked around like she was a yo-yo, and both her mother and my husband almost got kicked quite a few times. All the while, my normally nervous Stardust was calmly standing there ignoring the whole scenario. God bless her. It was not until we got out the lunge whip out that Cupid finally decided to give up the fight and get in the $*&#$ @! trailer. Silly me for forgetting that I had the lunge whip…..we probably wouldn’t have had to fight him for over an hour had I brought that thing out sooner. Sorry guys.
Needless to say, we were all pretty tired by the time we arrived and unloaded the horses at their new home. I had a nice goose-egg on my forehead and a sore finger (because somewhere in the middle of all that fighting Cupid decided to try and bite my finger off.) My friend had two very sore arms the next day. And we collectively decided that next time we would just drag Cupid behind the truck rather than attempt that again. I hate it when my Dad is right.
NOTE TO PETA: dumb-dumb-head Cupid was not harmed in the writing of this post. I was, however, but you probably don’t care about that.
Also, I’m wearing pants today.

“Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”                                                               ~Psalm 20:6-7

Sunday, February 24, 2013


I have been laying here for almost an hour. Roman is asleep, and Duke is doing his little leg twitch thing he does when he's sleeping really hard. But I can't sleep.

I've had a lot on my mind these past few days...I've been pretty restless and a wee bit cranky. I'm not even exactly sure what it has all been about. But tonight as I'm laying here listening to some of my favorite songs, I'm reminded of one thing: one day I will get to see Jesus.

When I was in high school, I can remember thinking,  " I don't want to go to heaven yet, I want to get married and have kids and experience life." My high school Bible teacher once explained to me that these kinds of thoughts were normal, but one day I would grow up. And although I would probably have a great life, my more mature self would realize that nothing in this world would ever be as good as being with Him.

And I now understand that. I have an awesome life: an amazing husband, a great job, a loving family...and I could go on and on. God has truly blessed me. But deep inside, I can't wait for the day when my faith will be made sight. I can't wait to spend an eternity with my Father. I can't wait to go to that place where there is no sorrow. No pain. No fear. No tears.

Perhaps some of you know what I am talking about...the excitement of meeting our Creator face to face. But there may be some of you who do not. Who is this Jesus, really?

He is everything to me. He sustains me. He calms my ever anxious heart. He guides me through this messed up world. He saved me from an eternal death. And He wants to do the same for you.

2,000 years ago, my Jesus stepped out of heaven and entered this broken world. He lived among us so He could be brutally murdered.....killed for crimes He did not commit. He bared the sin of this world on His shoulders and sacrificed Himself so we wouldn't have to pay the price for our own fallen nature. And then, three days later He was raised from the dead...death could not hold Him. The grave could not silence His power.

He now sits at the right hand of the Father, awaiting the day of His return to claim His people. And I cannot wait to fall at His feet and kiss those scars and thank Him for His love. I sure don't deserve His love. I sure don't deserve to be saved....none of us do. But that is the beauty of His love.....He loves us, even in our sin. He loves you, right where you are.

If you don't know this Jesus, this God of love, I encourage you to get to know Him. Find a church, a Christian friend, go to the store and pick up a Bible, do whatever you can to get to know Him. I promise you, it'll be the best decision you ever made.

I can't wait for that glorious day when I get to see His face. I can't wait for the day when the worries of this life are gone...when my knee no longer hurts, when there are no more allergies or sickness, no more friends dying of cancer, no more scary stories on the news. And I can't wait to be praising God with His people. See you there?

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall be saved." ~John 3:16

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Money, Clocks, and Target

Last week Roman and I visited our local Target. It is always a bad idea for me to go to Target. It is an even worse idea for me to go to Target and say, “I’m just going to look around”; yet still bring my purse and wallet inside. But in my defense, that wall clock was only six bucks and we’ve been looking for a bigger wall clock for our living room for a reeeaaalllyyy long time. Six dollars, people. Six. Dollars.
But now the problem is, I’ve been inspired by all sorts of cute decorating things and so now I want to go home and paint my whole house and buy new furniture. I also want to throw away my entire closet and just buy everything in Target to replace it all. Who wants to take a guess at what I would do if I won the lottery?
ANYWAYS, Roman and I set up some financial goals at the beginning of the year, and without getting too personal, I’d like to share them with you and how we plan to tackle them. I would have included all of this in my New Year’s Resolution post back in December….but…we didn’t have the financial goals settled on yet. And then I forgot. Oops.
Goal #1: Pay off student loan by end of 2014
Unfortunately, Roman’s main scholarship for college ran out so we had to take out a small student loan to pay for his two semesters. It’s not too big (nothing like what some college students graduate with), but we’d still like to have it paid off as soon as possible.
Goal #2: Pay off credit card/credit line by July of 2014
In case you haven’t heard me mention it a billion times before, being a newlywed with both husband and wife in college full-time is stinking expensive. Only by the grace of God (and some help from our parents) were we able to come out of those two years with only a small student loan and a couple thousand dollars on our credit card and credit line.
Goal #3: Go on a second cruise in October
Thanks to our tax refund, we have already paid for our next cruise. And it’s a lot sooner than October. But I’m not telling you when we’re going because some creeper may read this and break into my house while we’re gone. #I’mnotparanoid.
Goal #4: Have $3,000 in savings by end of 2014
Before we got married we were both really good at saving. We had over $1,000 saved up for our honeymoon and I had over $2,500 saved up in my savings account. Then we got married and had to pay bills and act like grown-ups and stuff and forgot how to save entirely. Two years of college later, and we have less than $500 saved up…which is a terrible emergency fund. That wouldn’t even pay our rent. *Ahem*
Goal #5: Pay off our couch loan by end of 2014
A few months ago we took out a loan so we could buy a nice, comfy sectional. But we also had ulterior motives: it’s called “no one wants to give us a loan because we are so young, so we need to build up our credit”. The loan is actually supposed to be paid off by 2014, so I guess this isn’t really a goal as much as it is a requirement. Whatever, I’m still listing it.
Goal #6: Be 100% debt free by end of 2014
If we meet all of the previously listed goals, we will be 100% debt free by the end of 2014 *IF* we decide to keep my car. We are still playing around with the idea of trading it in for something larger, and if we do then we won’t meet this goal. But still, having everything paid off except for a car loan sounds pretty good to me! And if we do have everything else paid off, then we could afford to make extra payments on the new car in order to pay it off sooner. Holla!

I guess these aren’t really New Year’s Resolutions since all but one of them carry into 2014, but that’s okay. So how are we planning to meet these goals? WELL, me being the spreadsheet-obsessed woman that I am, I took each one of our goals and divided the amount of money needed to accomplish that goal by the number of months left until our “goal deadline”. This gave me the monthly amount we needed to save/pay each month in order to meet our goals. I then took those amounts and put it into our monthly budget and then crafted our budget around that. Roman and I have found from real-life experience that the statement “You spend as much as you earn” really is true, so I knew if I didn’t put those amounts in our budget at the beginning of the month, they would never make it in there.
Honestly, I must say that our goals seemed really aggressive at first, but after putting everything into the spreadsheet and cutting our grocery/eating-out budget just a little, we have been able to make it work just fine. And with our tax refund, we were actually able to pay off the credit card already and we are over halfway done with paying our credit line off as well…as well as going on our second cruise this year (don’t get me started on how excited I am about that!!!). So it looks like we will definitely be meeting some of our goals early. Yay!
Oh, and as far as how we determined which goals were most important. The student loan is of least importance because it has the lowest interest rate. So our first priority was the credit card/credit line since it has the highest interest rates. The couch loan is the second priority, since it has a pretty high interest rate as well. Basically, we started out making the minimum payments on the couch loan, the student loan, and the credit line, and then we made a really high payment on the credit card. Now that the credit card is paid off, we make the minimum payments on our couch loan and student loan while making a really high payment on the credit line. And then we will continue with that method until everything is paid off.
AND for any of my doubters out there, having a spouse who works off of commission is NO excuse for not having/sticking with some sort of a budget. I know this because Roman works off of commission, and although he can give me a ballpark estimate, I don’t have exact numbers until two days before he gets his check. And when you work off of a monthly budget, that can be pretty difficult, trust me….I understand. So if you want to follow this type of plan, here is my tip of the day: Take a look at the average amount you/your spouse makes each year and divide by twelve. Put that as your spouse’s estimated income, and then adjust as you go along. For instance, in January Roman made a good chunk of money, so we made some extra payments on our debt and saved some extra as well. This month, he didn’t make as much, so we cut back a little on our debt payments/savings. But because we made the extra payments last month, we haven’t been set back in our goals at all. In fact, we are still ahead! Like I said, when you have extra money, you spend it. So on the months that your spouse brings home big $$$ from commission, make sure you take some of that and put it towards your goals before it gets spent on take-out and movie dates. That way those lower-income months won’t set you back.
And before all you people start thinking I’m a genius, please know that all of these principles were taught to Roman and I from our parents and close friends. And some of them come from Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace”. For any of you looking to pay off some stuff, learn how to create a budget, learn how to save, etc., I HIGHLY recommend you read this book. And most importantly, PRAY with your spouse over your finances and pay your tithes!!! I can guarantee you that if Roman and I had not prayed over our finances and been faithful in our giving, we would not be where we are today. Even after setting these goals we prayed to ask God to bless our finances and make us good stewards of what we have. And with each paycheck I make sure to pay our tithes before anything else. I 100% believe that praying over your finances and being faithful in your giving makes such a big difference!

So there ya have it! Six financial goals that will *hopefully* be accomplished by the end of 2014. Maybe once we get done with that I’ll allow myself to re-enter Target.  ;)
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. ~Malachi 3:10

Friday, February 8, 2013

Go Fish

When you have a young child, you constantly have to say things like “don’t put that in your mouth.” “Don’t put that in your mouth, it has germs on it.” “Don’t put that in your mouth, it will cut your gums.” “Don’t put that in your mouth, it’s nasty.” You get my point. But when you have a dog…well, dogs are created to put everything in their mouths. If it smells remotely edible, or even if it doesn’t, there is a fairly good chance they are going to eat it anyways. And they’re going to eat it quickly, too. Sometimes you can catch them in the act and tell them no and they’ll leave it alone before they eat it. But other times, you either don’t see them fast enough or you don’t see them at all. And that is how Roman and I managed to charge $206.75 to our credit card just one day after paying it off last weekend.
We were at our Pastor’s house with the youth leaders working on some things for church. We had just finished up, so our youth leader, Johnny, decided to go fishing with Pastor’s kids down at their pond. Duke had come along with us and had enjoyed an afternoon of swimming in the pond, running really fast, and rolling in the tall grass. We let Duke go down to the pond with Johnny and the kids so he could play some more. After a short while, one of them caught a fish. A pretty big fish. So they decided to take a picture. One way or another, a fishing pole with chicken still on the hook was laid down in the grass. And just like that, they caught a dog. My dog. My dog who loves chicken and decided he wanted that piece of chicken laying there in the grass. Only except that chicken had a metal hook inside of it, which promptly game him a lip piercing. Thankfully, one of the kids saw him right as he took a bite and yelled “No Duke!” so he didn’t swallow the hook. Not so thankfully, the hook got stuck inside of his mouth instead.
Johnny has now been nominated to “Worst Dog-Sitter Ever”.
For whatever reason, they didn’t want to tell me that Duke had a hook stuck in his lip. They thought I would go all crazy psycho on them. I have no idea why they would think something like that. Dukey-face is only my fur-child. So naturally, they decided to try and remove the hook without telling me. But that didn’t work because he was, well, hooked. And fish hooks tend to not come back out after they hook into something….that’s kind of what they were created to do. You know, so you can catch fish. And this stubborn fish hook decided to fulfill its purpose and stay lodged in my dog’s mouth. Of course, Roman eventually had to tell me that even though my dog appeared to be acting normal (he was presently running around with a pine cone in his mouth); he actually had a fish hook stuck in his mouth. (And in case you were wondering, I did NOT go all crazy psycho.)
We briefly contemplated making Duke drink a beer so he would pass out, but then we decided that since we would have to shove the hook the rest of the way through his lip, we really needed to let a vet handle all that. (Calm down PETA, calm down.) Hence, the $206.75 charge that appeared on my credit card that night. Yay for emergency vet calls, puppy anesthesia, and puppy pain shots.
As for Duke? He’s 100% fine. According to the vet, dog’s mouths heal incredibly fast. So even though she had to make a small incision and pierce his lip all the way through to get the hook out, he didn’t require stitches and the swelling was gone in two days. In fact, he ate an entire rawhide bone the next day in under an hour like it was nothing.
Needless to say, I am praying for a much less eventful weekend that does not require me swiping my credit card again. Also, my dog is NEVER allowed to go fishing again. But he still loves chicken.
“Since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuek, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.                           ~Proverbs 1:30-31