Saturday, January 31, 2009

Organizer's Unite!

For those who know me best, they know that I'm totally a Type A personality. Everything has a place and everything in its place. Well, that worked fine when I lived by myself but now as a mom living in a house of all males (including our dog)the struggle for me is to maintain some sense of organization. I truly believe that over the past five years, I've let go of alot of my crazy expectations and tried to work around the fact that literally five minutes after I clean something, there's Loverboy and Monkey following behind me, just to mess things up. I'm beginning to think that it's an evil plot to to drive me crazy (which I think their dad is heading up to just make me insane!)

So, I'm constantly looking in magazines, googling, reading blogs and books in an effort to find simple ways to organize my home and life to keep what little is left of my mind. Two weeks ago, I came across a fantastic book by Kathy Peel titled "The Busy Mom's Guide to a Happy, Organized Home." As a full-time working mom, I simply go from my paying job to my "real" job at home and I need all the help I can get. Not only is it full of useful advice, it's also a great reference, you don't necessarily need to read the entire book to get good use out of it. I want to devote a portion of my blog this year to passing along tips and tricks that I find useful and I hope that other people who read this blog will share their ideas!


Do you have an organizational book or website that you love?

Friday, January 30, 2009

25 Random Things...

So, I've been 'tagged'...on Facebook, that is. "25 Random Things About Me..." So, I've decided to share them just in case anyone was curious about me. Besides, everyone is not on FB, and it was kind of a fun exercise.

1. I am a painfully shy person. I guess that’s partially why I don’t have a lot of close friends now, I’ve always been afraid of rejection.

2. I wish that I had kept in touch with several of my friends from high school, although now with FB, I feel as though I’ve been given a second chance to stay in touch.

3. I’m a very loyal friend, if given the chance, I would do anything for a friend.

4. My ideal job would be working for the FBI as a profiler, I received my degree from OSU in Sociology/Criminology but then after school, I didn’t want to continue with classes so I gave up pursuing the FBI.

5. I have never been a girlie girl. Growing up, I was much happier playing War or Capture the Flag than playing with Barbie’s. Thankfully, I have two boys so I’m prepared for the “boy” stuff!

6. I’m very organized in every aspect of my life and job, my husband would probably say I’m a little OCD with it.

7. I’m a pessimist, I don’t always enjoy being this way and I wish that I could be more optimistic. I am amazed that by having my own children that I’m learning to attempt to be more optimistic for them so that they have a better perception of people and the world.

8. I love watching sports! Especially football, basketball and hockey, this is one of the reasons my husband loves me.

9. I love the month of March (for sports), NCAA basketball is the best, I wish that I could just sit at BW3s for the entire tournament and watch all the games.

10. I love to sing. I miss being in high school where I had three periods devoted to singing or being a part of a group that performed. Yet I was too scared to try out for our Chorale and ended up playing the bongo’s (don’t get me started) just to be a part of the experience.

11. I hate being the middle child. I’ve always been stuck between a very talented older sister (vocal and acting) and a younger brother who’s athletic and smart. I just tried to fit in, between sports and music but I never felt important.

12. I wish I were closer with my siblings (we’re all five years apart), but growing up, we all had such unique interests that I never connected with them.

13. I’m addicted to reality TV shows and soap operas (esp. GH).

14. I love reading about organizing there are so many great ideas out there, Real Simple magazine is my favorite.

15. I hate to cook.

16. I love to make cakes and decorate them, I never took a class, but I learned from watching my mom when she made cakes for people when I was in high school.

17. I love to clean, it relaxes me.

18. I’m very honest, sometimes too much.

19. I addicted to reading blogs, I also have my own, but I prefer to read about other people’s lives.

20. I’m my own worst critic, I’m never happy with myself.

21. I don’t drink, because I don’t enjoy the taste, but there a lot of times that I wish I did!

22. I married my best friend. Although we’re complete opposites, he keeps me happy and hopeful.

23. I think that my fear of rejection has cost me a lot of wonderful experiences when I was younger, I was so focused on being the “good girl” that I didn’t enjoy high school or college.

24. I wish I was a better mom to my boys. I feel guilty everyday working is costing me experiences with them. I was very fortunate to have my mom at home and I feel bad that I’m unable to do that for them.

25. I favorite thing to do is take photos. I wish that I had started my own photography business, I love telling a story or capturing that special moment.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Gaining control...

That's right...I'm taking action to put my family in a better financial situation. With the new year, I have finally made a resolution (because I typically never make them) to get a hold of my family finances. Truth be told, the true incentive came from the fact that hubby is going to be let go from his job in a matter of a couple of months because his company (bank) was purchased by another group and they've decided to consolidate.

I've worked hard over the past five years (because the finances have been my responsibility) to eliminate credit card debt, but it always seems that I've saved nothing for our "rainy day" fund. I'm a big fan of both Suze Orman (http://www.suzeorman.com/) and Dave Ramsey (http://www.daveramsey.com/) and I've learned alot of information from both individuals. However, I was watching Oprah's Best Life Week series and was excited to see that Suze Orman was going to be on and that she had a web cast on getting your financial plan together.

During the Oprah show, Suze was offering her new book Suze Orman's 2009 Action Plan (Keeping Your Money Safe and Sound) for a free download on the Oprah.com website. I downloaded it that evening and I read it in two hours (209 pgs.) Although I'm familiar with her teachings and philosophy it was still a great read that teaches us to focus on the tough economic times that everyone is currently facing. I also watched the web cast (be sure to check it out) and learned that over 2 million people downloaded her free book. Although it's only $5.00, I think it's worth the purchase.

Since I mentioned both Suze and Dave Ramsey, I would also suggest Dave Ramsey's latest book, Total Money Makeover, which is another great book. I purchased the audio book from iTunes back in October, so I could listen to it in the car or while working out. This book was instrumental in getting me fired up about developing my inner "gazelle" like intensity. Although both books are great, Dave teaches more that everything should be paid for in cash and that FICO scores aren't important because you shouldn't use credit cards. I don't agree with his theory 100% but it did make me realize that if we had a savings, then I wouldn't rely on the cards to bail us out of a bad situation (car problems, tuition bill, etc.) He also teaches a class in several cities (unfortunately none in Columbus) called Financial Peace University which I've heard great things about. I'm working hard so that I hope by August of 2009, I can call into his radio show and scream "I'M DEBT FREE!"Here's to hoping anyway...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

History is being made today...

You can feel the excitement for our country, as today marks an historic moment for our nation as Barack Obama is sworn in today as our 44th President. Whether you're a Republican or a Democrat, you have to admit that Barack has a "rock star" following. Although I personally didn't vote for him, I'm looking forward to the promises that he's made to our country. I believe that as a nation, we need to pray for our new Commander in Chief as he embarks on a new season in his own life, as well as, the nation's.

I do want to take a moment and thank President George W. Bush for being a good President. I say "good" because although he too made mistakes, he did what he thought was best at the time. I think it's been rather sad how he's been slammed the past few weeks. Again, regardless of your political views, we should be a gracious country and be appreciative that President Bush did what he could, with what he had. I know he's made alot of mistakes but that just shows that he's human like the rest of us and he still deserves our respect. Thank you President Bush for your eight years of service, in many respects, we are a better nation because of your leadership.

Today, however, is a new day and I'm looking beyond my own political views with a new hope that President Obama will ignite change and inspire new ideas for our country. I pray for both his entire staff as well as his family as they embark on this season of change. I will remember this day for as long as I live because our nation has made its choice and now we must support our leader and pray for wisdom and guidance as we move forward to progress. We are all Americans, this is something that we should celebrate every day.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Please pray...

Please pray for two new mothers and their newborn babies as they are dealing with some difficult situations since recently giving birth. Kelly gave birth to Harper last Friday and she was Angel Flighted to ACH where she is currently in critical but stable condition. I've enjoyed reading Kelly's blog for many months and I know that she and her family are looking for as many prayers as possible to heal their little girl.

Jenna, also a new mommy, is struggling since her new baby boy, Brayden, was also sent to ACH for possible PPHN issues. Brayden was born last Wednesday and he is in critical but stable condition. Both of these beautiful families have struggled to have these adorable babies and they could truly use your prayers! Feel free to visit their site and add their buttons to your own page (you can view them to the right side of this blog).

Praying for you both during this time...

Baby it's cold outside!

Yep, you guessed it...the snow has finally hit Columbus over the past two weeks and boy oh boy, it's COLD! Now that the boys are older, I remember vividly praying at night that it would snow like crazy so that school would be closed and we could go sledding or simply stay in our PJ's and watch cartoons. It's funny how you forget about until your kids hit an age where you can see it in their eyes.

Although I wouldn't let them go out last week, when it was -3 degrees (I'm such a mean mom...so I've been told), I decided yesterday that since hubby wanted to take them sledding I would bundle them up and let them have some fun. Mind you, mom stayed home in the nice warm house because I don't care how much fun sledding is, getting ahead of my laundry is WAY more fun (ok, so that's not really a fair comparison). After a little over an hour, I hear the garage door open and two kids looking like frozen popsicles standing at the door waiting to be de-iced. After getting them de-iced and settled down for lunch, I was told about tumbling down the hill, hitting one's head on the ground and other general "mishaps" that come with sledding. All in all, fun was had by all (I could even tell that Dave had fun!)

Here are some pics from the frozen tundra!



Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Year...already playing catch up

Ok, so much for my goal to try and post more during 2008, what can I say, I enjoy reading other blogs...everyone else's life seems so much more interesting than mine! Oh well, I just wanted to share a few photos from Christmas. We were pretty busy but had alot of fun.

Grandma and the boys making cookies!

My cookie monster!

Since my Grandmother passed away in September, I wanted to do something for the Nursing home and as Christmas approached I thought that it would be a perfect time to show the boys that the season isn't just about Santa and presents. So, we decided to make a bunch of cookies for the staff and residents to enjoy. The boys had a great time making cookies and cards to pass out to the residents. My mom took the boys over to the home a week before Christmas and she said that the staff and residents were so appreciative of their cards and cookies. I was so glad that the boys enjoyed doing something for people that they barely even knew and it showed them that the season is about giving and praising our Lord for the many blessings that we have been given.

We enjoyed Christmas Eve with Dave's parents and then my brother came over to spend the night (which he has done for the past couple of years) so that he could wake the boys up at a crazy hour to see what Santa brought! Then we spent Christmas at my parents house and played cards and just enjoyed the day. Here are just a few other pictures...

The boys before Christmas Eve Mass.

Waiting for Santa!

Hopefully, for 2009, I will do a much better job of updating everyone as to what's going on and find some interesting things to blog about! Although the new year is already bringing us challenges, I want to be optimistic and continue to pray that He will show us the way.