Wednesday, April 3, 2019

MARCH BUDGET RECAP

Micheal and I hit reset on the budget last month so I thought it would be a good time to share a recap here on the blog about how that went. We got our heads together mid March and reset everything so this is really based on the last 3 weeks of the month. Money is never a fun topic but I believe talking about it gives us confidence and freedom!

Our biggest struggle is dining out...I think if we had endless funds this is probably where we would spend most of it! We had originally said we wouldn't be eating out at all, but did end up going out a few times that we couldn't really work out. Still WAY better than our normal habits so I wasn't too upset at these numbers. We will still be working hard to limit eating out unnecessarily in April.

Dining Out
budgeted: $100
spent: $266.25
Some of these were from expenses we made just before the reset that came through our account so we added it in. Overall, I'm not completely upset that we overspent this much, but I know we can do better this month!

Groceries
budgeted: $600
spent: $635.09
This category seems really high (especially when were not even looking at a whole month here.) BUT I always include my Walmart runs into this, which this month included a very large purchase of household items like laundry soap, garbage bags, paper products, and underwear for the boys. Things like that add up quickly and made our grocery bill seem super high even though it wasn't all food. I probably should have broken it down into multiple payments to keep it separate, but I just ain't there yet y'all!
Clothing
Budget $100
Spent $61.65
I was super excited to find a pair of Free People booties on a friends FB sale for $20! The rest of this month's clothing budget was spent on the family all getting tshirts to support Liam's baseball team. The rest of the budget plus this month will likely be spent on Easter outfits for the entire family.

Now that we are a few days into April, I'm pumped to have an actual plan for our money...I know things will pop up that weren't expected, but just like anything else, you have to keep going and make the next best choice!
P.S. For those interested, we use a budgeting program and app called YNAB (you need a budget). It really works for us and I highly recommend it.
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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

SURPRISE BIRTHDAY AT HANDMADE

 We celebrated this girl's 12th birthday last month and somehow the days have gotten away and it hasn't made it's way to the blog until now. I honestly want to say that Handmade made this the most fun and easy party I could have imagined. They were so great to work with and made my life a breeze when it came to party planning. They took care of all set up and all I had to bring were the snacks and the Shug's cookie cake of course! 

One of my favorite things in this world is making my people feel special...it's almost as good as, or better, having my own birthday! I decided to make this a surprise party, so while our guests were arriving Anne, Liam, and I were walking around downtown catching Pokemon :) (Late to the game, but totally loving it!) Anne and Liam both were completely surprised when we walked in to see all of her friends yell "Surprise!"
The kids each got to pick a craft or make a candle...the candle making was perfect for these preteen girls while the littles did some painting!  
I can't say enough great things about working with Handmade for this party. We had the best time and they made it seem effortless to pull together.
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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

6 YEARS OLD

This incredible little human is 6 years old! The saying, "the days are long, but the years are short" definitely holds true. Oh what a blessing this little guy is to our family. He is kindhearted and loves big. I'm so lucky to be his mama.
We celebrated with a few of his friends at the park with an adventure party. The kids enjoyed a scavenger hunt, cupcakes and lots of fun outside time!




I hope you have a fun filled year buddy!
Side note: I am now a BIG fan of weekday after school parties! This was the easiest party we've ever hosted...right after school, at the park, with a homemade cake and snacks! Since this was the first sunny day in a while, the kids were thrilled to play outside and run off some pinned up energy. Glad I bought that extra case of water :)
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Thursday, February 14, 2019

I LOVE LOVE

For a while I've wanted to write out our love story here, and Valentine's seemed like the perfect opportunity. So much of the reason I love this blog is because it is sort of a time capsule for our family. I'm not always great about printing out photos or writing in my journal. So one day (hopefully when I'm old) I'll look back to this little space and remember the good life we have gotten to live.  This guy has been one of my greatest earthly blessings and I'm forever thankful for our life together.
The beginning.
So let's start way back at the beginning...before the age of digital pictures and facebook. haha.
We both graduated from different high schools in year 2000. That fall we headed to Jones- a local junior college where we were both in the band--he played the tenor saxophone and I was on the dance line. This was literally one of the best parts of our college experience. We LOVED being a part of The Maroon Typhoon...it was just the best. In the early days of rehearsals, we were placed facing one another at one point in the show. Michael was definitely awkward even then and was completely afraid to talk to girls...it was the cutest. I had met him a few years earlier through a mutual friend, but he didn't remember that. So one morning as a big group of us were walking to class, I introduced myself to him. 
After that first introduction, we started hanging out more. We'd stay late after rehearsals talking until dark and I was eaten by mosquitoes. Sometimes a drive to Sonic would by us a little more time. Basically we were doing what people do when they're falling in love.
Our first date was dinner for my birthday and all I remember was that was the night we made it official that we were dating. And that he gave me a bible. Everything rocked on so smoothly for the next few months. then...
The break up. It happened.
We dated almost the whole year. It was really wonderful... Until one day when it was not. I am going to take full responsibility for my moment of insanity and definitely something I'm not proud of, but it's part of our story so I'm going to share it. 
That spring I decided I didn't want to be tied down anymore and broke up with him. Looking back I think it was fear more than anything. Michael seemed so perfect. His faith was so much more mature than mine and he had, what appeared to be, this perfect family... and I definitely did not. I felt like I could never be good enough for him. So I ended it, which let to a pretty low time for me.
A few months later we both left for the summer to do missions. I remember we got to pick 3 location choices and I can remember putting Arizona as a 3rd option. I really did not want to go to the desert. Guess where I got placed...the desert. God had a plan guys.
That summer was one of the hardest times in my life. I lived in a camper in the middle of no where on a reservation. My roommate did not really like me, so times were HARD. I did a lot of soul searching though...and lots of time in the word and prayer. 
At some point I came to my senses and realized how much I missed Michael. And how silly it was to break up with him. He was in the pacific northwest and basically living all my outdoor dreams. We talked on the phone a few times and starting writing each other. 
I went home a little earlier than him and ended up living with his family. That basically sealed the deal. 
the rest is history.
We picked him up from the airport at the end of the summer and we were inseparable ever since. That winter I made a plan of how we could afford to get married that following summer by living in married housing at USM, where we both planned to transfer. He proposes a few months later and we were married in August of 2002...just two years after we met and were both 20 year old babies. 
The early days of our marriage was spent in school and working hard to make everything happen, but looking back every bit of it was worth it.

A lot of life has happened over the past 18 years. We have both grown so much, but I don't ever want to forget those moments when we were dating. There are always seasons where we are not as intentional with our relationship, and if I'm convicted of anything after writing out this blog post it's that. I want to be intentional and "date my husband" as so many people say these days. I do think it's important though. So, goals for the future!











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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

CURRENT READS: BOOK RECOMMENDATION

Here's my first book recommendation of the year! It's called Artemis by Andy Weir--who also wrote The Martian. 
I have to admit, I was not at all sure about this book at first. Sci-fi/futuristic books are usually hit or miss for me.  This story follows a girl that lives in a colony on the moon. It quickly got my attention and kept it. The first half is was interesting but felt like it was setting everything up. But by the last quarter I literally couldn't put it down...I found myself racing through the pages to see how things would end.
We chose this for our January book club read, and it turns out that I really enjoyed it! If you like a quick read that doesn't get too bogged down, this is definitely a good pick! It is well written and very engaging. After I finished, Michael read it in two evenings. (He also loved The Martian)
A few other science fiction books that I loved was the Ender's Game series and Brave New World.

I would love to hear your thoughts if you read or have read this one!
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Monday, January 28, 2019

HOME TOWN TOURIST

Every now and then we love to spend an afternoon with the kids meandering around downtown...getting coffee, visiting the bookstore, and walking through the parks are just a few of our favorite spots.
It usually involves lots of jumping games and climbing trees to entertain us along the way. 


I was recently asked if Laurel has kept it's small town charm since the airing of HGTV's HomeTown. I would answer that, "Absolutely, it has!" Laurel has always been charming and it makes me happy to see other people coming in and enjoying it with us. I love sharing the things I love, including my town! One of the things I like best about the folks in Laurel is how they pull you in and make you feel like you're part of the community. 

If you haven't already planned a trip, what are you waiting for?? 

Here's a few of our favorite family friendly spots!

Lauren Rogers Museum of Art-Mississippi's first art museum and always a MUST SEE! There will be a Leontyne Price exhibit soon I hear!

Trustmark Art Park-This is a great little space to let the kids run around that's in the heart of downtown.

Cottage Books- this is a little book nook located inside Southern Antiques (a great store to walk through...it has 2 floors of shopping!)

Handmade - looking for an indoor activity?? Handmade is your place to get CREATIVE.



Laurel Mainstreet has a ton of wonderful events throughout the year as well...coming soon is the Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off!

YWCO of Laurel - family bingo night as well as classes and activities for all ages

See you in Laurel, friends!

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Monday, January 14, 2019

ANNE'S ROOM MAKEOVER

Is there such thing as too much pink? I sure hope not! 
When Anne originally wanted to redo her room it was going to be navy/gold with lots of stars. Well, you see where we arrived...with lots of blush PINK, white, and gold accents. This helped a lot because it didn't require me to paint the walls, which I really hate doing.
Decorating for an eleven year old is kind of tricky. Finding the balance between a teen/kid room can be quite challenging. 
The little doll bookshelf is what Michael's dad built for her when she was just a baby! Definitely sentimental about it, but I think we will end up replacing it soon with floor to ceiling built in shelves.
We also plan to add a small ballet bar for her birthday next month. 
I'll update this post as we continue to make changes!
I pretty much gave Anne free reign to style her desk area. The nutcracker doll was a recent purchase from the Dillard's New Year's Day sale. Anne fell in love and said he couldn't be packed up with the other Christmas items.
Anne is now a happy camper and so am I! We had a great time doing this together and it really set me on a cleaning out streak that is still going...well, this and Marie Kondo! 

Bedding, rug, llama lamp, round gold shelf, canopy, never grow up pillow, heart wall art
side table- amazon
Floral Art Print- Lindsay Miller, Good Soil

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Monday, January 7, 2019

HAPPY NEW YEAR!


hello friends! it's so hard to believe it's 2019 and I started this blog over 9 years ago. i definitely haven't been as consistent as i would like, but it is still one of my favorite things to have this little space on the internet to look back over the years. this past year was quite the roller coaster. we were not without heartache as well as joy. i can look at each of us and see how we have grown so much.
anne is almost 12 and i am already seeing glimpses of what it will be like to have a teenager. can i tell you though...I am nothing but excited about the time i have with this girl. she is the sweetest thing and i'm trying to enjoy every stage of this parenting gig.
liam is a fun-loving, full of life boy! he is kind hearted and loves his momma most...which of course i love!
michael and i celebrated 16 years of marriage and i can honestly say it keeps getting better. he started a new job this year that brought him close to home and it has been so fun having him be home more and able to spend more time with all of us. his heart is constantly striving to search and know God better and lead this family in a way that would honor him. i feel so incredibly blessed to have him by my side.
so, here's to 2019. may it be a filled with adventure and making fun memories with these guys!

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