Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It's the little things...

My favorite things about today....In no particular order...
  • I started the day off with a kolache. It was a moment of weakness and it was good.
  • I've got a little "Ra-Ra-Ah-Ah-Ah..." in my step because I found out I'm going to see GAGA in Dallas!
  • I'm waiting patiently for "the call" that a certain someone is heading to the hospital to have a baby! My hair looks really bad today because of all of the rain and I actually worried that I wouldn't have time to fix it before my first pictures with baby Avery. I figure I'll cross that bridge when I get there. If she comes today she'll probably get some kind of pearl jewelry from her Aunt T-Rog at some point. If I know her like I think I do that's all the incentive she'll need! Come on baby Avery...
  • I'm kind of over my blog design. I've had this design for a year now and I think it's time to spruce things up! I need some color and some "umph". Any advice on who to use or where to get a great deal on blog design? I'm so excited for a change!
  • A friend of mine, and a local radio DJ, Roxanne is trying to get her own show on Oprah's new network! She would be SO awesome, so fun and funny and she needs YOUR votes! If you have an extra minute go and vote one or one-hundred times for her please. :)
  • I'm so jealous of all of you that have seen or are in line to see Eclipse! I get goosebumps (sadly) when I read your twitter and facebook updates rubbing it in my face and telling me how good it is. Eclipse and Breaking Dawn were my favorite books of the series....excuse me, I mean saga. I simply cannot wait. Team Edward.
  • Update: I couldn't take it anymore and I just took off work on Friday and bought my ticket for the 10am showing of Twilight! Don't you worry that I knew just who to call and The Loj will be right along side me! I'm not sure what is more pathetic, the fact that I cannot wait to see a tween movie or the fact that I'm such a grandma that I am going to see it at 10am on a weekday to avoid the tweens....I'm banking on the fact that they'll still be sleeping and I can have Edward and Jacob all to myself.
  • Finally, there may or may not have been some leftover ice cream from the shower this weekend...and I may or may not have had a scoop of chocolate before bed. And Dave most certainly had a scoop (or 2) of vanilla with crushed Oreos and a cherry on was pretty magical.

Hope you're all having a great Hump day...we're halfway there people!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Cricut is Clutch...

There was a time in my life where my weekends consisted of A: a wedding shower B: a bachelorette party or C: a wedding. It was fun! We ate, we had dance parties, we laughed at each other and with each other and we ate our weight in wedding cake and mashed potato bars.

It's only been a few years, but it kind of seems like a lifetime ago. The party circuit is picking back up but this time, instead of couple's showers with margarita machines and gifts of china patterns, there are watermelons cut like baby carriages and gifts of breast pumps and onesies. My how the tides have turned.

We threw a shower for my dear friend Lynch (she's one of the Allison's...) on Saturday and we couldn't help but laugh at the fact that EXACTLY one year ago Saturday, we were laying on the beach in Mexico celebrating 10 years of friendship, drinking Miami Vices, reading the Twilight saga, singing Beat It in honor of MJ and having afternoon snacks in the ice cream parlour at our "resort". (I use resort loosely...we were duped!)

It was fun to celebrate Lynch, Baby Blythe, and our friendship again this weekend with an ice cream parlour. There was a lot of branding that went into this shower. Bradley got a Cricut for Christmas so we felt it our duty to have everything personalized. The general theme of the weekend was that the Cricut is pretty clutch. It's a good thing we had those crushed Oreos, gummy bears and cool whip could have been really confusing for our guests! :) *Ice cream parlour idea and cutouts can be found here.
We had an area where friends and family could decorate an ornament for Blythe's first Christmas tree. They turned out precious!
"Sassy" (Allison's mom) making an ornament for her granddaughter
"Lolly" (Of Lolly and Pop....Yes, it's true! This is Ryan's mom) making an ornament for her granddaughter
Bradley, L-Merc and Reams trying to figure out how to draw an angel on an ornament. Bradley says she knows that Blythe and Avery will be in the same Pi Phi pledge class...
My ornament for Blythe....Love, Aunt T-Rog
Bradley made this darling bow holder and we asked everyone to top their gift with a bow to help get Blythe's bow collection started.

Everyone got a cookie to take home
Our goal was for Lynch and Ryan to feel celebrated, supported and loved during this exciting time. We can't wait to meet Miss Blythe!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fabulous Find Friday!

I'm a shopper....I'm a spender. In my defense, I come by it very honestly. Have you met my mother? And have you met HER mother? It's definitely hereditary. I don't know where I got my red hair, I don't know where I got my skin tone, but I do know where I got my Macy's card!

I know that we are trained to not talk about money. It's rude to ask someone how much money they make. It's rude to ask someone how much they paid for something. There are just certain things you don't talk about at the water cooler. But today, I'm going to talk about it just a bit.

It's Friday and I usually share with y'all some of my favorite ways to spend buying items to decorate your home, decorate your closet, and make you feel good. I even picked out several things on my current wish list that are just too cute. And I promise that one of these days I will share them with you, because someone should be walking around in this cover up! But today I'm actually going to share with you a few things God has been doing in our lives and our marriage dealing with money. I'll give you a little glimpse into our journey to financial peace...It's a marathon not a sprint.

At the beginning of December Dave and I were talking about Christmas gifts. He said he wanted Dave Ramsey's book Total Money Makeover. Wow. How exciting! I expressed my desire (in case he hadn't heard me the first 1,000 times) for an SLR camera. I figured with his gift only costing $15 we could just pool our resources for my gift. I'm so generous like that. :) It wasn't long after receiving the book that he read it, asked me to read it, and then proposed that we begin Financial Peace University.

Unexcited and underwhelmed would be the words you're looking for. I was not thrilled with the idea of talking about saving (not spending) money for 13 weeks. I already hear enough of that from Dave! I didn't need someone else on HIS side. To be fair to myself, I really don't spend a ton of frivolous money! I shop for you guys...I put things on my blog that are darling, but I seldom go and buy it all for myself. I do however, enjoy a vacation, a girls' night out to dinner and drinks, things for my home, gifts for friends....I spend when I want to spend and I don't think much about it. I work hard! I've assumed that was my right to spend. So to go and hear about how I won't have a vacation for the next 5 years because I need X amount in my savings account was not my idea of a great Monday night. (Which was an immature misconception on my part in the first place. To automatically begin thinking of what I would begin to lose and how I might be inconvenienced if we started to save.)

BUT, I prayed about it. And because it was something Dave really wanted to do, I decided to give it a try. I know most of you have already checked out, but for those that might be looking for financial peace, hang with me. There were about 22 couples in our class. We were the youngest! It was literally like AA but instead of AA it was $$. There were people in our class in bad shape. I'm talking hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. There were many couples in $20K-40K in debt. That was probably the average. And it hit me....this is a HUGE problem in our society.

As Americans, we live in the "Right here, right now" mentality. We have drive through dry cleaners so we don't even have to get out of the car. We have "fast food" because we need to feed our families in 5 minutes flat. We have DVRs so we can watch our TV shows, commercial free, whenever we want to. And I like it! I HATE going to the post office. Why? Because I ALWAYS have to wait at least 10 minutes. We're an ADD, all about me society. If I want a new shirt I buy it. Whether or not I have the money in my wallet is obsolete because I have a little plastic card in my wallet. And the truth is, the shirt is the tip of the iceberg. It's the new cars, the bigger house with more square footage and those gorgeous hardwood floors, it's the dream vacation that we are entitled to because it's our 3 year anniversary....3 years since a honeymoon...we deserve it! We've waited forever!!! (Sarcasm because sometimes I get in the trap of thinking this way)

And I promise....I am NOT pointing fingers. Y'all, that is me! I want nice things. I like them. They look great on other people and I know they would look great on me too!! Which is why I praise God that he joined me with someone so much more humble and unconcerned with the "things" than me. It is ONLY because of David that we weren't sitting in that class fitting right in with the average debt. Because of Dave being responsible and caring about our future and our financial well-being, he had the foresight to want us to learn while we're young and can set ourselves up to be financially responsible. I didn't say wealthy....I said responsible. Living with the money we have not what we WISH we had.

In 13 weeks (1 night a week) Dave Ramsey gives you 13 great principles to living your life debt free and in total financial peace. He goes through saving, giving, retirement plans, life insurance, mortgages, credit card companies, etc, and gives you answers to questions and debunks myths you may be living by. He changed my mindset about spending, saving, and giving. I've heard my whole life that "My money is not mine, but God's. And I'm just to be a steward of it..." I'd heard it and I believed it, but I didn't live it because I didn't completely buy into it. But God spoke to me through Dave Ramsey's words and principles and He showed me that He really does want to bless my life if I'll let Him. He really does want me to have things that I need and also have things that I want, but to let go of it. To not let it make me who I am.

This class truly changed our life. It changed how we view money, it changed how we spend, it changed how we save. It brought Dave and I together in our goals and made us in line with our views of our finances. It truly does bring peace. I would be more than happy to personally answer any questions you have about this. Specific examples of changes we have made or anything you might be dying to know about. Below are the 13 topics Dave covers in the class. He is funny and engaging and it wasn't boring at all! Dave teaches you to "Live like no one else so that later, you can live like no one else."

This info taken from Dave Ramsey's Website

Lesson 1
Super Saving
Dave explains the Seven Baby Steps that will guide you throughout Financial Peace University. You will also learn the three key reasons why you should save money—and why you must start now!

Lesson 2
Relating With Money
Learn why it's important for spouses to communicate and work together toward success. Also, singles will learn the importance of teamwork, and parents will find out how to teach their kids about money.

Lesson 3
Cash Flow Planning
Unlock the secret of developing a monthly spending plan that really works.

Lesson 4
Dumping Debt
It's time to debunk some common debt myths! Dave reveals the truth about credit lies and gives you a plan to walk out of debt with confidence.

Lesson 5
Credit Sharks In Suits
What is a credit score, anyway? Join Dave as he unpacks your credit rating and shows you how to handle collectors when they call.

Lesson 6
Buyer Beware
Dave Ramsey draws on decades of experience to reveal the power and influence that marketing has on your everyday buying decisions. Let the buyer beware!

Lesson 7
Clause and Effect
In this lesson, Dave walks you through the world of insurance, carefully explaining what you need—and what you need to avoid.

Lesson 8
That's Not Good Enough!
Discover the seldom-used secrets of buying only big, big bargains—every time! Before you know it, you’ll be saying, "That’s not good enough!"

Lesson 9
Of Mice and Mutual Funds
Dave breaks through the jargon surrounding long-term investing and empowers you to make your own decisions about your investments!

Lesson 10
From Fruition To Tuition
Dave walks you through the maze of retirement options and helps you figure out the right path for you. You will also learn how to plan for college so your kids can graduate debt free!

Lesson 11
Working In Your Strengths
This lesson will show you how to avoid dead-end or mind-numbing jobs and provide tips for job hunting, writing a resume, and acing an interview. Plus, you’ll learn tips for finding extra jobs if you need cash to attack your debt snowball.

Lesson 12
Real Estate and Mortgages
Dave draws on over 20 years of real estate experience to teach you how to win when buying or selling your home. Plus, he’ll dissect all of the common mortgage options available today, showing you what to choose—and what to avoid.

Lesson 13
The Great Misunderstanding
Warning! This lesson will challenge the way you think about money. Dave will show you how generous giving can completely revolutionize your attitude and improve your finances, business and relationships.

If you have any interest at all, with 100% of my endorsement I would say go for it. And by all means, ask me anything you'd like. Click here to enter your zip code and find a class near you. Good luck!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I'll have the Random Special, cut the random...with a side of random please.

I'm so caught up in the College World Series. I know you're shocked. I have to say, I am having a hard time this year with the absence of the Longhorns and my inclination to root for TCU even after they dog piled on the Longhorn. I don't know why my soul automatically pulls for them even though they displayed such a lack of class in that moment of victory. Hey, you won. That's great. I dare say the majority of the people in Disch Faulk field would have rooted for them hands down at the CWS, but then there they went...out to center the Longhorn. Chumps. But hey, TCU....great comeback win last night. Really, it was pretty awesome.

Speaking of about that Wimbledon match? Pretty crazy, right? I can't even sleep for 10 hours or I'm too tired! Can you imagine playing TENNIS for 10 hours? And not even finishing the game! They have to come back today and keep going...Come on Mahut...say Uncle. Bless their hearts.

I haven't posted anything about the Bachelorette this season. I mean, there hasn't been much material to work with. Pro wrestlers on crutches, weathermen with forecasts for goofy, and the looney tune who got a tattoo with a shield and a rose and "studs"...It leaves me at a loss. You would think I would have had enough but every Monday I keep coming back for more. Bless my heart. As I sat there watching Monday night, Dave walked through the room and said, "I didn't know Andy Roddick was on this season..." and he is SO right! Judge for yourself...Frank the Tank and Andy Roddick... (He's wearing glasses in his mug so I got a couple of other pics from google images....)
And then there's Roddick...

Separated at birth, right?

*UPDATE: Awesome comment the Loj! I love that Daniel compared Nigel to Wayne Gretzky! It's an exact match!

First up: Nigel Lythgoe- So You Think You Can Dance

THE Wayne Gretzky below...

PS...y'all make my day with these comments!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Airing my Dirty Laundry...

Men are funny creatures. They hunt, fish, golf, sweat profusely while doing yard work, eat their weight in carbohydrates, can use public bathrooms no matter how dirty they are because they don't have to touch anything, and shy away from questions like, "Does this make my butt look big?"

Dave is a wonderful husband and always answers, "Of course not" to that last question even though I know he's thinking, "Compared to Carrie Underwood or a tractor trailer?" At least he keeps his thoughts to himself! We've been married for 3 1/2 years now and I already know how he will react in most situations. If we're out in public and I see someone wearing something they clearly should not spandex...or socks and sandals...or spandex with socks and sandals (I know, the mental picture is almost too much)...I know the "your momma" and "your sister" jokes are sure to follow. I know that when we go to Chili's he's going to order the buffalo chicken sandwich with no tomatoes. I know that he's going to borrow my chapstick and roll it almost all the way to the top and when he puts the cap back on it will almost smoosh it. I know all of these things and they make me comfortable and happy because I can expect it. He's a creature of habit and there are many things I can expect...Most habits are endearing but a few have run their course.

Months ago, he had enough of one of my habits and asked me to please throw away my "scraps" of meat that I don't eat before bringing my plate to the sink. I make dinner, he does the dishes, so I took his request to heart being appreciative of his help. Since that day there hasn't been a single scrap left on my plate. He asked nicely and I was happy to comply. SO, I decided to try it! I asked him to please put away the "pocket vomit" that makes it's way to our kitchen counter the MINUTE he enters the door in the afternoon. Keys, phone, receipts, change, chapstick, sunglasses...the list goes on. I got him a "catch-all" that sits right by his bed but it hasn't done the trick. I'm sure in year 4 it's bound to stick...

I also asked that when he makes his lunch in the morning, to please throw away the apple stickers instead of sticking them to the inside of the sink where they do NOT go. Also, every.single.morning. he makes a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and sticks the peanut butter covered knife into a glass of water. Every.Morning. Can that go in the dishwasher that is right next to the sink? I think so.

This brings us to Sunday....on our drive home from Dallas.

I was out of town Wednesday-Sunday for work and then for fun, and after being gone to Tahoe and then gone for work I just wanted to come home to a clean house. Which is the way I left it on Tuesday night. When I left on Wednesday I specifically said to Dave, "You will be here today through Friday. Will you please just keep things picked up so I can come home to a clean house?" He replied, "maybe". Oh how I love thee...let me count the ways.

So on Sunday, we were driving home from Dallas and I point blank asked him, "When we get home, will the house be clean or dirty?" (I asked in Temple so I had 35 miles to prepare myself) He said, "Well, what do you mean by clean?" I said, "Will there be mail all over the island and will there be apple stickers in the sink?" He started laughing. Because he knew DARN WELL I was going to see freaking apple stickers in the sink. He replied, "Well, that's where I wash my apples! Do you expect me to walk to the trashcan?"

You're right. Both of those feet to the trashcan are pretty taxing. "YES! I expect you to walk to the trashcan."

He said he would just start eating the stickers. I love the way guys compromise.

You can imagine my surprise when I walked in to find this.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

It Takes My Breath Away...

I realize this blog title is no help. Usually, you can read someones blog title and form some sort of conclusion or opinion of what the blogger is going to discuss. In this case, by giving you the information that "It Takes My Breath Away" I could be talking about the trailer for Eclipse, the number of unpedicured toes I've seen in ill-fitting sandals, or even the "bless his heart" moment on the bachelorette last night. I know what you're thinking...."Which one??" And you would be right, but I'm specifically talking about Casey serenading Ali and her attempt to not laugh. Fail.

Although those are all worthy of a blog post, the topic at hand is my recent trip to Lake Tahoe. It was fabulous. It was relaxing, refreshing, 65 degrees and sunny rather than 99 degrees with 99% humidity, and most of all it was utterly breathtaking. I just kept thinking to myself that God is so good and so creative.

Dave turned 30 last month and my gift to him was a trip to Lake Tahoe. Neither of us had ever been and it looked like a place we would enjoy. Most importantly, it had amazing golf courses which was the key ingredient for the birthday boy! We spent several days hiking, eating, exploring North and South Lake Tahoe, taking a million photos (you think I'm kidding...567!), more eating, playing 2 golf courses and just enjoying such amazing beauty everywhere we turned. From the crystal blue water to the snow capped mountains it was truly a sight in every direction!

We're ready for Lake Tahoe round 2! Here are a few (or 30) pictures from our trip. I might have taken several landscape photos...I couldn't help myself.
Dave may or may not have originally had the pine cones in another area before I informed him that his mother would be seeing these...
Much better seeing these little boogers in the wild than in my bathroom!
Just taking a little breather and enjoying the view...
The views from the golf course were stunning. One direction was snow capped mountains and the other was the lake...
On Saturday we drove to South Lake Tahoe and went to Edgewood Country Club where the Celebrity Golf Tournament is was stunning! We walked on the beach, I braved the COLD water and we took a few pictures of the course.

We had an amazing time! As you can see, it was nothing short of gorgeous....I'm thinking of future trips...couple's trip, girl's trip, family trip....sign me up!

*I've had a couple questions about the following: If I asked people to take all of these pictures of us? No, I didn't ask people to take our pictures, I took a tripod! It works fabulously. You don't have to bug people, you can take multiple pictures if it doesn't turn out the way you want it, etc. And why can't you click on my pictures and enlarge them? I have no idea! If anyone knows how to make that happen let me know! XOXO