Tuesday, December 11, 2012

God's Naughty and Nice List

I'm on Day 2 of the "Bible in 90 Days" plan. I read Genesis 17 - 28, roughly. One of awesome things about Genesis is all the stories of great faith. I read so much of the Bible and think "if I were in their shoes I would not have done that." Why? Why wouldn't I have acted in faith and obedience? Has God ever let me down when I did act in faith? Why am I so scared to trust the creator of the universe? The hardest things I have done in faith have ended up having the greatest and best effects on my life. I should be asking God to give me challenges so that he can bless my life more!

Take Abraham for example. God decided to bless him and make him the father of nations (and Jesus!) because of his faith and righteousness. God also decided to tell him about the plans to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because he didn't want to hide what he was doing from the father of nations. Seriously! God didn't want to go behind Abraham's back as a direct result of his faith and righteousness (Gen. 18). And then, God decide to spare Abraham's nephew Lot on Abraham's account. Not only that, but it sounds like angels whisked Lot and his immediate family out of town when they hesitated to go on their own (Gen 19). Because of Abraham's faith, the lives of his family were saved, even when they did not have faith. Every time I read the act of faith and think "I would never do that" and need to realize when I read the reward and blessing afterward that I would never have that. And frankly, that's sad.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

So many plans

We are postponing buying a house, for reasons I will disclose once they become completely official. Suffice it to say that we will hopefully be in a much better place to buy in a year and we have much better options happening now. We're looking for a new (bigger) apartment or condo to rent, so if you know of a good one, let me know!  We are both completely happy with this turn of events though, and we learned a lot by starting the house buying process. For one, we learned how important it is to check your credit report often! You get one free credit report from each reporting agency each year. If you order one every four months and rotate which one you order from, then you can keep an eye on your credit throughout the year. This way you can nip errors in the bud, and not 2 years later like we did with ours. Also, we learned some parameters that lending companies require before letting you buy their money from them. For example, you have to have worked in your field for a minimum of two years. Bad news for people like me that enjoy job hopping. They couldn't even count my income in getting us approved. Apparently they were not impressed by my ability to find so many jobs. Also, you cannot owe more money to people than you make in a year. This was not an issue for us, thanks to Dave Ramsey, but it was interesting to note. I am keeping a much better eye on our bank accounts now. I always think, now what would our mortgage guy say if he saw this. It makes banking more interesting.

In other news, I may be helping someone set up a business selling art. For any of you small business gurus, selling online gurus, or shopping online gurus, I would love imput! What has worked for you, what hasn't? What sites do you love to shop at? What sites do you hate to shop at? Why? What programs have helped you succeed, or were a total waste of your time? I would love any and all input.

It's almost the weekend, I hope it's restful and awesome.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Holiday Fever

Ok, fever is probably a little bit of an exaggeration. I do love this time of year though! I love the busyness of it, even though I know that is what most people complain about. Especially the shopping. We made a short list of people to get gifts for this year. Usually I like to get/make for everyone, but there isn't time or money for that this year. As a result, I am having a lot of fun buying for the few people I do get to buy for. If you didn't make the list, don't feel bad. Nathan didn't either. (I love you Sweetie!) We are hoping to get family photos made next week, and then the Christmas cards can be mailed soon after that for the people we don't get to buy for. I have also been inspired by gluten-free holiday baking, so that will be taking up time soon. It will be so worth it for the yummy smells filling our home. And the best thing, the very best thing, is that for the first time ever, Nathan and I will both be off together for two weeks at Christmas! We were off in college, but we spent it with our respective families and then met back up at campus when class started. This year we are very married, so we will be together. And with our little pookie! (not poopy, like the daycare boys always think I say) It is going to be amazing. I am already looking for fun things to do with her. I know she won't remember all the sights, smells, and sounds of her first Christmas, but I will. And I will treasure them for a very long time. I hope you're enjoying this holiday season as much as I am.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The After Party

Well, we made it through one major holiday. Only 17 more work days until my next holiday break begins. Why doesn't everyone work for a school?!?!? Anyway, I hope your Thanksgiving was great. Mine was fun. We went to Arkansas to visit family. The little one had a great time playing with all her relatives. She also practiced her new skill - crawling. She just started crawling and just hit that stage where she wants to have mommy in eye-sight at all times, so she has almost perfected crawling over to me and into my lap. Definitely my favorite trick! It's always something new with a baby though. I'm constantly having to learn what she needs for her current developmental level and mood. It's a constant evaluation, and you can take nothing for granted. It's a challenge, but so wonderful.

To update my 30 day pre-Thanksgiving challenge, I did not make significant weight/measurement differences. However, I have been exercising just about every day, I am eating less sweets and junk food, I am not eating until 10 every night, and I've had several people at work tell me I look thinner. All in all, I'm counting this as a success. My 30 day pre-Christmas challenge is going to focus on being really gluten-free. I found out that my gluten intolerance potentially added to or caused my difficulties breast feeding Abigail, and I'm on a mission to not have the same problems with the next baby, whenever it may come. So I'm going GF until the Super Bowl! Hopefully that will be long enough to really set the habit. What about the holidays, you ask? Betty Crocker makes GF cake mixes and I'm going to try to make cake balls with them. After all, everyone knows it's impossible to feel deprived when you're eating cake balls. But in case I slip, feel free to knock the fried chicken right out of my hand!

Well, back to work everybody. Make it count!

Friday, November 9, 2012


Internet, you are not a good accountability partner. I started out pretty good, but then Abigail got sick. And if you think it's hard to get things done with a healthy baby, you should try getting things done with a sick baby! So I haven't been working out, but I am doing pretty well on the food side. Unfortunately, I only lose weight if I work out, so you can't really tell. But I'm feeling, I don't know, cleaner since I've been eating better. And that's definitely something.

In other news, the election happened. Most of me is disappointed that we're not getting a new president. Or a vice president with a 6-pack. But part of me, the snarky part of me, is excited to see all the crazy things that so many conservatives are threatening will happen if Obama stays in office NOT happen. Like I said, the snarky part. All of me though is working on remembering that God said to pray for your leaders, to respect those in authority over you, and to remember that they are in power because God has allowed it. True, it could be that God allowed it as punishment (see any random chapter in the Old Testament as example), but God still allowed it. And frankly, I want to be obedient to God more than I want to rail against an elected official.

In final news, the house shopping is on a pause. When they ran our credit there was an error on the credit report which is taking hours of yelling and weeks of waiting to be corrected so that we can get the best rate possible. This is your warning, keep an eye on your credit! Preferably before you want to do something really expensive! Also, be sure at least one person in your marriage is good at calling and yelling at people. Although not being good at it is not a bad thing. Might even say something good about a person. But hopefully it will be corrected in next moth or so and we can go back to house hunting.

I hope you're having a good day, Internet. Thanks for listening :)

Friday, October 26, 2012

30 Day Pre-Holiday Challenge!

I have been trying to get gung-ho about eating paleo for awhile now, but today I am deciding to be gung-ho or else. Why? Because I found a pair of size 6 pants that fit before I got pregnant and I would really like them to fit again. I was hoping I could talk a certain somebody into being hardcore with me for a month, because I know if I cheated before he did that he'll make fun of me for the next 10 years, but he declined. So I've decided that you, Internet, are going to be volunteered to keep me accountable. If I mess up, you get to hold it over my head forever. Or at least until something else cool happens online. I do have one disclaimer up front. I do not know how many days it is until Thanksgiving and I am too lazy to look, but I think it's less than 30. Regardless, my 30 day challenge will end on Thanksgiving. Because it's Thanksgiving. Other than that, no exceptions or cheats! Here are the guidelines:

No grains
No gluten
No dairy, except cheese. Strict paleo usually has no dairy, but most cheese has no carbs and makes  food so delightful!
No soda, no candy, no ice cream
Very little added sugar
Two fruits a day max - one at breakfast and one for dessert after dinner if I'm craving something
Exercise at least 3x a week in some form or fashion

For any good accountability, we need records! So here's a small sampling of my stats:
 Starting weight: 168.7 lbs
 Starting waist size: 39.5 inches
 Starting hip size: 43.0 inches
 Starting waist to hip ratio: .93 (bad - you really want .81 or below)

I'm keeping more stats on my computer, so we'll see how I do. Internet, you've been officially volunteered. Let's do this.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Games to Play with a 6-Month Old

So, if it's been awhile since you've had a 6-month old to play with, let me remind you of how awesome it is! Every day she's learned something new. We are amazed by what she can do today that she couldn't do yesterday. You can tell she's loving every minute of life, because to her every thing is so so funny! I spend all my free time trying to make her laugh, so we've made up a few games to play:

1. Making the Bed
 We figured out how to make this chore fun. Add a baby! After you put the bottom sheet on, it's fun to put Abigail down and billow the top sheet over her. Every time it comes up and we peek under, she makes a different face or different funny noise.  It was like her own private comedy show. And she loved watching the sheet come up and down.

2. Copy Cat Noises
At first, Abigail just thought it was hilarious to watch us smack our lips or buzz our lips at her. Now she learned how to copy the noises, so we make as many funny noises as we can think of and she copies them. Never too soon to teach your baby rude noises, right?

3. Flying
What every baby loves, being tossed in the air!

4. Smack Daddy (lean in for a kiss)
 This one Nathan does not like, but he'll lean in to kiss her face and she'll either turn away or smack him. I think it's because his beard is scratchy and bigger than her head. Poor Nate takes it personally, but I just think it's kinda funny, so it falls under games.

5. No More TV (put my hand in front of her face)
 Alright, this one is purely for my enjoyment, because nobody else likes it. Abigail really likes tv though, so I have fun putting my hand up in front of her face and watching her try to see around it. I think this is why her neck is so long.

Any suggestions for those of you with little ones running around?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

You know, they took "gullible" out of the dictionary

My brother told me that when I was in junior high. With as preposterous as I thought that was, you would think I had invented the word! I promise you, I ranted and raved for about a minute before it sunk in what he had said. And then wanted to deck my little brother. Sadly though, my ability to be fooled has not gotten much better as I've gotten older.

I am very easily swayed. I know this, and I try to protect against it. There are certain things that I know to be true, so I'll stay away from arguments against it. Why? I don't want to be talked out of what I know is right. And there are certain things that I really want to be true (whether they are or not), so I ignore the arguments against those as well. The internet really makes this hard to do though. I often think that ignoring the arguments makes me dumb. After all, you really should look at all sides of some things before jumping in. But I also don't want to be one of those people that can see everyone's point of view, and so believes nothing. Really, those people are just obnoxious. But where is the middle ground? And how do I figure out who is right and who is wrong without trying it all myself?

Some things I have tried. I was vegetarian for a year and a half and then switched to paleo. I felt better within a month, so I feel find saying I know which one of those is right, at least for me. I've tried working jobs that are super crazy busy and jobs that are slow. I have a definite preference, and know where I thrive. But big things, like politics? How do I try socio-economic solutions out to see what works? How do I figure it out on the things outside of myself, when I'm so quickly swayed by their proponents? There's got to be an anchor for things like that, but I haven't figured it out yet.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Thrill of the Hunt

It seems that having a baby was not enough change for us Nipps, so we also threw in house hunting and church hunting. It's a lot of work, but it's been a good chance to evaluate what's important to us and to learn more about each other. For example, we were reminded last Sunday how much of a Baptist I really am. Years in a non-denominational church followed by years in a Presbyterian church, and I still feel right at home when a good ole Baptist hymn starts up! And we're having conversations about "hard" and "soft" sermons. Who uses phrases like that? In houses I am intensely attracted to any house with a huge kitchen, and I can't help but think it's because of all the great memories in my grandma's kitchen. And I'm checking every house for the place where our "family photo wall" will be. I love looking at family photos hanging in people's houses, and I want mine to be great! (Notice I said photos hanging, please don't pull out your photo albums next time I come over)

It's fun working together to feel out and have a say in the changes going on in our lives. Sometimes the best things are the unexpected ones, but as a young married couple, it usually feels like our life is mostly the product of chance or the decision of others. For the first time since I chose to move to Houston, it feels like we are really getting to decide what our life together is going to look like. We're praying through all of this, knowing that God's vision for our lives in far better than our vision, but it's still really exciting to know we're getting to choose. I hope little Abigail likes what we decide.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Things I do to Keep Busy vs. Things I Wish I Did

I have a lot of free time, but in all the wrong places. There are so many things I wish I did/could do, but there is only so much you can get away with in a cubicle. Even if you do have an awesome privacy cubicle in the back corner of the office. And there is only so much time in the day when your commute to daycare and work takes an hour each way. However, I am a huge believer in the power of lists, so I thought maybe this would help get activities organized. Here is my day the way it is and the way I wish it was:

Things I Do To Keep Busy:
  • My accounting homework, which is surprisingly fun at this point! I get to learn something new that is slightly challenging. Not very challenging (yet) but enough that I get the satisfaction of having learned something.
  • Free class at Notre Dame - currently taking Jews and Christians Throughout History. This class is great because a lot of the texts are available online and a few are available at the library. It's been really eye-opening to learn our relationship throughout the centuries. With any religion, the more you learn about others means the more you learn about your own. This is especially true with Judaism and Christianity, so it's been doubly interesting to me.
  • Free class at coursera.org - currently taking a class on logic. These classes are not self-paced, but you do get a certificate of completion if you do well in it. I figure logic could be helpful.
  • Bible study - the nice thing to free time with limited other options is that it's been easier to spend time with God every day. I guess God may not appreciate being relegated to the "things I do to keep busy" category, but it's definitely one of the things I'm glad I'm doing!
  • Shop for a house (!) - we aren't looking at buying until early next year, but oh the shopping is fun!
  • Shopping for furniture for said house - really am not looking to buy anything right now, so I need to stop this one! I keep finding awesome deals for things I love and absolutely CANNOT buy right now. Why? There is only so much room in our 1-bedroom apartment, which is part of the reason we're moving in the first place.
  • Yoga - the perfect exercise. You don't get sweaty unless you really try, and it always makes me feel tall and thin. Just because I'm not doesn't mean anything.
Things I Wish I Did:
  • Run - my running has fallen totally by the wayside. I think trying to run a half-marathon while working full time and having an infant was a bit lofty of a goal for me. Not saying it can't be done, but that I'm not willing to do what it takes to do it. I just don't have the time or energy to run when Abigail finally goes to bed for the night, and I'm not willing to spend the few hours I have with her by running. So I know it's not really reasonable right now, but I miss it.
  • Stare at the computer less. It seems like I am always, and I mean always, staring at the computer. This can't be healthy.
  • Cook. I miss cooking elaborate and fun foods. I have to cram anything fancy or time consuming into the weekend, and then by the end of it I hate cooking. Nathan cooks most nights so I can take care of the baby and I love him so much for it, but I miss it.
  • Clean!!! I'm a little OCD, so don't take this to mean that we're nasty, but I so want to scrub my apartment. It needs a deep deep cleaning, but I haven't made time to do it. This may actually be my project this weekend.
  • Go out. Saturday nights are not enough. If we stay at home we end up just sitting and eating. I love going out and walking around and seeing things. I need to find a way to work this into more evenings.
  • Start getting ready for Christmas. I do not want to be in crazy mode in December. Period.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Day the Swing Died

For those of you who haven't gotten to spend the night since we had our precious bundle, you may not know that Abigail sleeps in a swing. We have a really nice swing that plays white noise and plugs into the wall, so we don't go broke buying batteries. We started letting her sleep in there when she was a few weeks old and screamed every time we put her down. Looking back on things, part of that may have been because she wasn't getting enough food, but who knows for sure. What I did know, was that she would sleep, and I could sleep, for four hours at a time if she was swaddled and swinging away. She sleeps so good in the swing, we just keep letting her do it. After all, why trade what works for less sleep?

Anyway, long story long is that the swing broke. We noticed on Thursday night that it kept stopping, but it would start again. We went out of town last weekend and borrowed my mom's swing, so no problems there. When we got back Sunday night though, Abigail's swing would not swing. So we are now crash-weaning her. Surprisingly, she's doing really good! We're still putting her down in the swing with the white noise, and that way we can rock her for a minute while she falls asleep. (We'll work on taking that part out later) After her 3am feeding we (I) put her to bed in her co-sleeper thingy in the hopes that will make it easier to transition to a crib later. I don't put her in the co-sleeper in the evenings because she just screams and cries then. Frankly, if I don't want to cry myself to sleep, I don't think Abigail should have to either. So far, I'm really proud of her though. She's taking a broken bed like a champ! Much better than her momma would.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Accounting Fun

There is someone that I consider to be an extreme saver. It's not that he saves every penny, but it seems like every penny saved has a name and an assignment. My savings account has always just been one generic fund. I may be saving for one thing, but only one at a time. And most of the time it has just been a place that hopefully has a little extra in it for when my car breaks. I've been intrigued by the idea of keeping my savings account organized, but I didn't know how without opening 16 different savings account. I think the things I'm learning in my accounting class will let me do that though! So I'm playing super nerd and making a budget for my savings account. Let the pie charts flow!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sick Sick Sick

The Nipps (2 big Nipps plus 1 Nipplet) spent last week passing a stomach bug around and around. Not much fun with a little one. I did learn that we can make it through a week with a sick baby though, so I'm kind of proud of that. I was also so grateful for all the breast milk that has been donated to us, since I'm sure that was the reason that the bug went easiest on Abigail. Next time this happens, I might add some to my cereal or something. Maybe it would help my immune system too!

I have been reading a book called The Ten Commandments of Wealth. It's by a Jewish rabbi, so it's brought up a lot of interesting points. One that was particularly convicting is the thought that anger is a sign of pride. His point is that when you are angry, it is because you feel your rights have been trampled on. For example, I get mad that people cut me off in traffic because I think "how dare he take my rightful spot!" Sometimes it's righteous, or just right, but definitely not all the time. He suggested using the times you get angry to really look at the situation and see if you have some unwarranted pride to address. I struggle a lot with pride (is it bad to think I'm awesome if I'm right?) so this was definitely something that hit home. I'll try to throw out more spoilers from the book later. You know, leave them wanting more and all that.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner

Well, except her daddy. We're trying to help Abigail learn to sit on her own, so we prop her up with our hands, couch cushions, and anything else we can find. She'll sit a minute, then slowly lean forwards until she's bended in half and we rescue her. What I find funny is that she always reaches out her arms like she was intentionally reaching for something, not just falling over. She may be reaching for whatever is in front of her, but with her being part Nipp (jokesters) and part Coburn (smart-alecks that are never wrong), I have a strong suspicion that she is just playing it off like the cool cat she is. And frankly, that's more impressive than sitting.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Second Longest Weekend Ever

I originally was going to title this Longest Weekend Ever, but I hadn't even finished typing it before I remembered the weekend we realized Abigail wasn't getting enough milk. Feeding every 2 hours, taking meds for milk every 4 hours, and taking meds for other stuff every 6 hours. Yes, that weekend was much longer. But this weekend was rough too because my little babooshka was sick :(

Abigail had a 3-day virus, which she did not enjoy. We think she handled it quite admirably though! Only Friday afternoon/night was bad, and the rest she just wanted to cuddle and nap. Since I am blessed enough to be able to take off work when she needs me, we did get a wonderful cuddlefest. I am glad my little one is happy again though.

My precious little girl is trying so hard to crawl, although it's coming slowly. She did get one big scootch forward by sticking her butt in the air, her hands in front of her and pulling with all her might. Oh how I hope and pray she learns to crawl that way! Can't you just picture her scootching around like an earthworm?!?! It would be so funny!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Just A'looking for a Home!

Hey Everybody! Exciting week last week. Why? Because the Texans are kicking butt! All those years in marching band did their job of instilling a good old American love of football in me :) It was also exciting because my sweet husband and I have decided to start looking for a house. I'm sure this has seemed like a long time coming to some, but honestly we didn't think we would be ready for a few more years. However, things being things, we decided it was time now.

Looking for a house is a lot of work already! So many decisions, not the least of which is where to buy? My husband works in the suburbs near where we live, I work in the middle of the city, and our daycare lady is somewhere in the middle. You would think, just buy in the middle, but you have to be careful what neighborhoods you look at in that area. Some are great, some not so much. And then you put a chronically lost person in charge of the search. Recipe for excitement!

I have to say though, this is fun so far. I love looking at the houses online, and you know I love to plan! Sweet Abigail will finally get the nursery she (I) has always wanted. And I feel like a grown up. It's nice to know that this round of packing will be the last for a while.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Eh, Who Needs It

Alright, I admit that I am  blogging today only because I feel like I need to stay in the habit. So here is my list of Who Needs It:

1. Sleep. Yes, I am dragging myself to my cubicle and listening to loud music to stay awake, but I've decided that if Abigail insists on a crazy sleep schedule, I am going to have a good attitude and enjoy my baby! She slept like an angel for months, so she has her rights as a baby to have a weird schedule now. So we play until ten at night, then get up at five to eat and get ready for the day. (Well, I go to bed at ten and Nathan takes over until Abigail passes out.) She is happy with the schedule for now, so I am going to be happy about it to. And bring more coffee.

2. Half-marathon training. I signed up for a half-marathon to give myself incentive to run. Instead, it's turning into incentive not to run. I feel like I have to run so long if I get on the treadmill since I'm working towards 13 miles. Really, if I could just get on for 20 minutes, I think I would. This ever increasing mileage is not getting me excited though. I still have plenty of time to change my mind, but I think getting to just work out how I want, instead of train like I need to, would make me happier. I know the point of life is not my happiness, but the point of running is.

3. Shoes. In my cubicle in the corner at the end of the hall with its high walls and door (I'm secluded, can you tell?), I take off my shoes. And it is glorious! I think I'll bring slippers tomorrow.

4. Bread. I've been so good at my low carb, gluten-free eating! I lost ten pounds and am no longer ravenously hungry between meals. I feel great. Except last week when I went to too many parties at work and had too much out to eat and carbs went way up. So did my weight and my crankiness. So I'm saying bu-bye to most of the carbs again. Bring on the hot pants!

5. Apartments. I did not want a house. I was fine to stay in our apartment forever. Except now we have enough money for a tidy down payment on a house. And now I want to move tomorrow. It's a little scary how quickly my mind changed on that once the far-off possibility became possible. I'm going to look at it as encouraging that I can be content with little when that's all I can have.

Friday, August 31, 2012


Ways I've been re-evaluating our money and budget choices:

1. I've been looking into credit unions and comparing money market rates. And then my sweet husband remembered ING! I checked out their rates and was shocked. The highest interest rates I had been able to find for a money market at other banks and credit unions was the interest rate on the checking account at ING. Can you imagine the great rate on their savings accounts? Definitely worth looking at. Make Money

2. I bought a stupid life insurance policy a few years ago. Life insurance is not stupid. The policy I picked was. I have an appointment set up with my State Farm agent Thursday to get a new policy that will be cheaper and make more sense. Save Money

3. We became officially debt-free yesterday (YAY!!!!!) but I still feel like we aren't since we have a million payments each month. We could cut down on some of these by paying our insurance premiums every 6-months instead of every month, and save a little on service fees. This won't save much money, but it will make me feel like we're keeping our money instead of giving it out every month. Save Money

4. We were trying to cut down on our food bill by not buying grass-fed beef and free range chicken. It saved money on the grocery bill, but we were used to that yummy grass-fed and we would end up going out to eat to avoid eating the cheap meat we bought. So I'm going back to my yummy expensive meat. It's still cheaper than going out to eat all the time. Quality of Life

5. Nathan's car is really old, so we're saving up to buy him a new one. That way when this one dies, we're not stuck with a car payment, higher insurance than we want, and paying interest. Also, he's planning on driving this car until it dies, so we get all the use we can out of the new transmission we bought a little over a year ago. Save Money

6. I found a website where I can buy Abigail's organic lactose-free formula for only about $1 more than Similac if you buy 12 at a time. Even shipping is free if you buy that much! And we are comparing it to Kroger prices. If you compare it to Babies R Us prices, the organic is way cheaper. Save Money

These are the ideas I've had so far. How do you make the budget stretch?

Friday, August 24, 2012

New Life Goal ... Maybe

Before I started at HCC, I was trying to go back to school to become an auditor. I did a lot of research and even started teaching myself accounting from a textbook, but when I crunched the numbers it just didn't seem reasonable. However, our money situation has changed some, so the numbers are crunching much more nicely now. Result? My first accounting class starts Monday!

This little project of mine (understate much?) will still take a few years to complete. Assuming I make it through two semesters of basic accounting and still enjoy it, I'll need to become a licensed CPA and maybe earn a degree in accounting. I'm so excited about taking classes though. Unwrapping my textbook, checking my schedule, buying school supplies, doing homework. I might even pack myself a cute lunch! Ugh, I'm a nerd. But who knows, maybe I've found what I always wanted to be.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


This week has been pretty darn stressful. Make me want to go to sleep for a month stressful. One positive I guess is that it gives me a chance to evaluate how I handle stress and if I'm turning to God in those moments. So far, I think I'm doing better than normal. I'm still not on my knees as much as I should be, but I am freaking out far less than is par. I'm learning that some things are God's problem, not mine. I can support, I can love, I can pray, but I cannot always fix. And I should not always fix. So what am I doing instead? Hugging my warm, snuggly baby instead. That's my new solution to every problem.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pucker Up!

I've been making my own kombucha tea, which has been going well except that it is getting more and more sour with every batch. Now I take very small sips and swear I'm throwing it all out and starting over. We'll see how this weekend goes though.

Abigail is almost five months now and in that window where you look at introducing food. I know many people used to give babies rice cereal at one or two months old, but the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends waiting until babies are six months old. We have a family history of allergies, so hopefully waiting longer to introduce solids will help Abigail avoid that mess. According to the Weston Price Foundation, the babies don't have the enzymes necessary to digest carbs until they are about one. Ya. Think about that one!

Having said all that, I had some left-over cucumber from my lunch, so I thought I'd let Abigail taste it (not swallow it though) and see what she thought. That girl can pucker! I ate it after she made it clear that she was not a fan, and realized it tasted funny. Apparently, when cucumber sits on cheese (like it did in my lunch), it absorbs the flavor. Americans will eat goofy things, but I don't think cheese-flavored cucumber will be the next big thing. And there are your pucker stories for the day. Anyone have their own pucker story they want to share?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Drive To Do

You know how some people never seems to transition from college to real life? When you hear about these people, you think of partiers, and people that sleep too late. People that feel like the world should hand them everything they need and want. I am not that kind of person. But I do feel stuck in the college mode of planning your future and changing/educating yourself so that you can make it somewhere different than you are now. I feel stuck in the mode of "not there yet."

In some ways, it's exciting. There are so many things you can do! I love to plan. I love school. I love to learn new things. But it is also exhausting!  I feel like I never settle, am never fully happy with right now. And frankly, my life is right near close to perfect, so I should be fully happy with now. I have a wonderful husband, the perfect baby, an amazing family, a great job, and a safe home. What more can you ask for? An off-switch for my ambition and my planning. Or at least a way to press pause for a minute.

The ever elusive state of contentment. Maybe I should learn more about Paul. If anyone knew contentment, it was Paul. Any thoughts?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

She Drew the Line

We are not breast-feeding anymore. For those of you who don't know, we were not able to breast-feed well. I say "we" because it makes me feel like it's not my fault, but the problem was with my body we believe. From my reading and the observations of my midwife and pediatrician, we think I don't have enough mammary glands. You see, breasts are made up of fat and mammary glands. Apparently mine are mostly fat, which is why I like to be about 10 pounds heavier than the charts say is "healthy." Believe me, that last ten pounds does not come off my hips! But it was bad news for my little one and all my dreams of months of free food for her. I took all the herbs I could find, drank lots and lots of water, nursed every two hours for a few days, pumped, and did anything else that was suggested, but never could get more than two ounces at a feeding. And I couldn't even get that much if I nursed every two hours. Apparently production takes time.

Abigail got half breast-milk, half formula for a few months, and then mostly formula with nursing and pumping when we could after I started work full time. She did really well with this, and I felt good about giving her what I could. Plus, nothing beats the cuddle time and the fact that Mommy (and her magical boobies) can make tears stop instantly! Until about two weeks ago. That is when nursing brought on the tears instead of stopping them. My little one was done. I guess she got tired of working so hard for so little when there was a fabulous bottle of formula just waiting for her. I tried to feed her the bottle first, then nurse, but that still wouldn't cut it for her. I cried and tried again later, but she still wouldn't have it. So I cried and tried again later again. Still no good. After a few days of making her cry because she didn't want to nurse and making myself cry because she didn't want to nurse, I realized that one of us should be the adult and call it quits. And I realized that was probably going to have to be me.

It breaks my heart to not be able to nurse her. I know people say "Don't feel guilty" and "You have to do what is  best for your family" but I don't think this is best for mine. It's just the only option we have. And I don't feel guilty, most of the time, but I do feel sad that I'm missing out on this precious gift. Not to mention how formula goes against all of my nutritional beliefs I have ever had! But you have to do what you have to do.

I did find a site called Human Milk for Human Babies that helps moms with extra milk connect with moms that don't have enough. I'm looking into it, as any breast milk is better than none. And I know that when I'm pregnant with Number 2 we are going to see a lactation consultant to see what we can do to increase my milk potential for him. For now though, Abigail and I need to find a new something special that's just between us. Every mommy and daughter needs that, right?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Life Choices

Thursday night the hubby and I went to see Cirque du Soliel (thanks for baby-sitting, Grandma!). It was amazing, to say the least. We saw Kooza which is a "back to our circus roots" show. It had tight-rope walking, people being catapulted into the air on stilts, women with hoops, and a lot of flips! Watching their flips and spins and balancing made me wonder how they decided to pursue this career instead of another. Especially with the Olympics going on right now. How did that conversation go: "Honey, you could go far! Maybe even go to the Olympics!" "No thanks, Mom. I'd rather join the circus." Because they were that good. I'm not sure what reactions their moms had, but I for one am glad they joined the circus. And it gives me hope that even though I've made some decisions that may not seem like the best to those around me (or even to myself sometimes) that God will see me through and turn my life into something beautiful too.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Getting To Know You

Well, this post will be in more of a hurry than I like, but I got caught up in other things, so there you have it.

I am a micro-manager at heart. Not just at heart, but also at my mouth and my actions, which is where it generally gets me in trouble. I am working on this though! My MiMi once told me that the best advice she could give me in the workforce is to teach my people well, then let them have a chance to show me what they learned. This is good advice for relationships too, although slightly modified. My mantra these days has been "Give them a chance to be an adult." The other, more convicting mantra is "You are not God and the world will not fall apart if you do not make sure this is perfect." (Yes, I am snarky to myself)

I've been practicing saying these things to myself and letting others move along in life without the benefit of my wisdom (Especially if they don't ask for it, or especially want it.) at work and at home. It's hard. I was talking to Nathan about it last night though, and he mentioned that he had noticed my efforts and was trying to meet me halfway when I was turning purple from keeping my mouth shut. And I was so touched! Lord knows, he is one of the people who knows more than most how hard I have to try! And I love that after knowing each other for seven years we are still working on loving each other more and helping each other be better! I know we haven't been together long in the grand scheme of things, but it's nice to remember that we haven't given up on each other yet.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Root for the Little Guy

I really like to shop on the internet. Something about that one-click purchasing power really makes me happy. I help out at a local health food store though, and they have really brought to my attention the idea of buying locally. I didn't realize so much of our economy was based on small business owners. Me and my internet shopping self figured that between WalMart, Target, and Amazon, small businesses must make up only a small sliver of the pie. I'm wrong sometimes.

It's fun working for a small business though. There is much less micro-managing, since everything doesn't have to be replicated on a grand scale. Much less bending backwards to accommodate someone that really should have been fired months ago, but wasn't because they might sue. The business can grow and change as needed. And it's fun to shop locally because you matter. Trust me, I worked retail long enough to know that you don't matter there. They will smile and nod and act like you matter when you throw a hissy-fit at the counter, but you don't. There is a long line behind you, metaphorically if not literally. But small businesses don't have the luxury of state or nationwide audiences. They can set their principles, then do what is in their power to help you, the valued customer, while remaining true to those principles.

Why did this come up? I saw an article or ad (can't remember which) talking about joining a local credit union instead of a national bank. I'm not sure if I'm going to do it yet or not. I still haven't given up the dream of moving and it's much less hassle if you're part of a national bank. But it got me thinking. I do a lot of spending through the chains that would probably be better spent on locals, and I think I'll work on that. Any thoughts?

Monday, August 6, 2012

What I do, I do not want to do

I think I know what Paul was referring to when he lamented that he could not do what he wanted to do, but did all the time that which he did not want to do. Oreos. Paul was referring to Oreos.

Okay, maybe I'm off by a bit, but I would totally understand if that was it! I have a list of negative symptoms a mile long when I eat gluten, but I still eat the gluten. This battle in my head and tummy has been going on for about 3 years now and I still haven't won. I am winning some of the battles (no pizza for a month!), but I get tired of caring. To make it more frustrating, the better I have been complying, the more pronounced the effects when I don't. Here are my latest results:

Cheated and Ate:                                                          Resulted In:
Pizza                                                                             Anxiety attack, depression
Oreos                                                                            Serious mental fog. Serious.
Beer                                                                              My one beer felt like three
Flour tortillas                                                               Weakness in left hand

It goes on, but you get the point. Moral of the story? If Paul can complain a little, so can I.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Mario Andretti, I Give You My Keys

When you have a baby, big things change. Things like sleeping when you're tired and eating when you're hungry. Things like your health insurance premiums and how much stuff you carry with you every time you leave the house. But little things have changed too. Like how fast I drive. Don't get me wrong, I still don't understand people that go under the speed limit, but I used to be the person passing everyone, and now I'm the person being passed. Oddly enough, it's not just when Abigail is in the car. And it doesn't always feel safer either! Going the speed limit and having the headlights of a huge pick-up boring into your rear-view window does not feel safe. Of course, at that point my stubbornness kicks in, but that's a different story altogether. This story is about me slowing down, and how it almost seems offensive to drive so fast. Maybe my inner rhythm is coming off the breakneck speed it's been on for so long. I've had much fewer problems with anxiety since getting pregnant and adopting a paleo diet, so that may be a big part of it. Maybe it's left overs from everything slowing down when I was on maternity leave (I barely left the house for 6 weeks, and loved it). And maybe it's the subconscious knowledge that another person's life is dependent on mine. I hope this "slowness," this absence of an ever-present need to go faster and get more down continues though.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Little Bitty Baby Dreams

When Abigail was a few days old, I came out of my sleep deprived fog long enough to really enjoy watching her sleep. It is so fun to watch the mysteries of REM sleep play out on her face. Her eyes would dart around under the eyelids, and those eyebrows! She has the most expressive eyebrows I have ever seen! It's even more fun to watch her now that she's smiling a lot, because she will smile at things in her sleep too. Nate and I like to speculate what she's dreaming about. Especially in those first few weeks when she was asleep so much. Was she dreaming about her family she was slowly getting to know? About being born? About her days of doing acrobatic tricks in the womb? No telling what goes on in her pretty little head.

Anyway, last night we think she had a bad dream. We have absolutely no evidence of this of course. But here is her normal schedule: go to sleep between 7:30 and 9pm, sleep until 5:30 or 6am. (I told you she is an awesome baby!) Last night she went to bed at 8, but then woke up screaming and crying at 8:45! She wasn't hungry, wet, or poopy, just UPSET! It took a while to calm her down and get her back to sleep, but she finally fell back asleep about an hour later. And being the scientific parents we are, we have officially concluded from the evidence presented that she must have had a nightmare. My poor baby! My guess on what the nightmare was about? Having to try on even one more hat and have her picture taken again! It's a rough life being a baby.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

No Touchy!

I am not a germaphobe. In fact, I may lean a little too far to the other side of that argument. I take heart in internet opinions that I am helping my little one's immune system develop by not worrying as much about germs. But working in cooperate America, I'm definitely in the minority where germies are concerned.

I generally take pride in not being as "sanitary." I scoff at the endless bottles of Purell that line our supply closet shelves. I smirk as women scramble for the toilet seat liners in the restroom. I get frustrated when I see women flush the toilet with their foot (and why do they open the stall door to do this?!?). And I get annoyed waiting behind the woman who has to get enough paper towels to dry her hands, turn off the faucet with another towel, open the restroom door with another towel, and then turn to toss her paper towel in the trash can, which is not located by the door. And then she misses and does not pick it up, so the poor custodian has to pick it up. The custodian who likely never gets sick because she deals with so many germs.

When I'm feeling particularly high and mighty and want to bring myself down a peg, I imagine that the women in question have some horrible disease that they are trying to keep from spreading to those around them. After all, I would not dare to scoff at their consideration! Of course, I'm not sure if imagining strangers having horrible diseases is much better. Unless I pray for them too, which I sometimes do. Can you picture Jesus up in Heaven rolling his eyes at me? It probably happens.

If this much goes through my head, I don't want to imagine what these germaphobe (in my opinion) women must think of me as I wash my hands, turn off the faucet, and then get a paper towel to dry my hands. And then I throw it away! Before opening the door! With my BARE hands!! Moral of the story, maybe I'm not that OCD after all.

You get bonus points if you can tell me where the quote "No Touchy!" is from. I can't remember and it's driving me crazy!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Cooking It Old School

This weekend we were supposed to see family from out-of-state. That didn't work out, so we thought about going out-of-town to see some family. That didn't work out either, so we decided to live life old school. And by old school, I mean things I might do when I go see my grandma for a weekend.

1. Garage selling! We took the little Nipplet on her first garage selling adventure, and she made out like a king. I found about 30 outfits for her for $20 (plus one for her mommy!). They were all "big girl" clothes, which is what she needed. Also I learned that babies are the best conversation starter. It was a million degrees outside, so the couple let Nathan sit inside their house with Abigail while I sorted through their box of a million outfits. The best find? This swimsuit: 

2. Making homemade beef stock! Per the internet's advice, I bought some bones, beef stew junks, and some veggies. I roasted all of that for about 45 minutes, then let it simmer in the biggest pot I thought I had for 4 hours. Nathan told me when the whole process was finished that we actually had a much bigger pot, but for now we have really strong beef stock.

3. Homemade Kombucha! Okay, I'll admit, my grandma never made kombucha. It seems like an old school thing to do though. I made the scoby about a week and a half ago, and today I'm starting to ferment the actual tea. For information about what kombucha is, read this. Suffice it to say here that it is yummy and keeps me from drinking more unhealthy beverages. 

All of these things took time. Quite a bit of time, plus juggling a four-month old and trying to meld her schedule and the timing of the preparations. I'm not sure how the grandmothers of the world did it all. And I was looking for a moral of the story out of all this, but frankly I took a nap instead.

It was a rough weekend. Not one of my personal bests. At the end of it though, I still had a sweet husband and beautiful baby girl to love on. And in the end, aren't those some of the most important things in life?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Running Into a Wall

I rearranged the house (again) so our treadmill now faces a bare wall in the "dining" room. I put that in quotes because our kitchen table is in the storage closet, so very little dining takes place anywhere besides the couch. I was exhausted last night and did not want to run, but one of the training tips I read was about the importance of training when tired. Why? Because about half-way through the race, you are going to be tired! Training while tired helps prepare you mentally and physically to run when you would rather be asleep. Makes sense, right?

I was going to try out the run/walk technique, but I kept getting phone calls from mother/mother-in-laws, so I mostly walked. Yes, you heard right. I was fielding phone calls from all the mothers! Just as I put the baby down for a nap! Anyway, it was a nice workout and I did get to run for about 15 minutes. I felt accomplished.

Back to Abigail, though. (Were we talking about Abigail? Of course we were, we're always talking about Abigail!) This week she's been going to sleep at around 7:30pm and waking up at 5:50am because that's as late as I can let her sleep and still get to work on time. So last night she fell asleep at 7:30 and I thought we were done for the night. Wrong! She woke up at about 8:45 just as happy as a clam. So we played for a while, she pooped a little (while sitting on my lap, because that is her favorite place to poop), and then she laid on the couch with me blowing spit bubbles for the next hour. Yes, an hour of blowing spit bubbles. I'm telling you, this kid has the best life ever! Apparently, once you learn how to blow spit bubbles, nothing else is worth wasting your time on. As a result, I stayed up way too late, but it was worth it to get to watch my sweet baby enjoying life so much. Moral of the story? Take time to smell the roses. And then spit on them :)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ok, try number 3 at regular blogging. Maybe if I keep it a secret I'll stick to it? Anyway, it should be fun while it lasts!

This morning I am jazzed about running! I signed up for my first half-marathon, which takes place in about 7 months. This should be plenty of time to train, but only if I actually do it! I tend to take my bedtime cues from Abigail though, so it's not going too well yet. Hard to run if you get up at 5 for work and go to bed at 8:30. But then again, why am I going to bed at 8:30?!?!

Anyway, my fabulous husband bought me a running magazine, and so far it's getting me excited again. Largely because I found out that alternating running and walking can improve your race time! It is my first half-marathon, so my goal is completion, not time. However, if walking helps improve time, then it means I'm not failing in my goal of "running" a half-marathon if I walk some. And knowing you don't have to do it perfectly helps get me started. Hmmm, that sounds like there might be a life lesson in there somewhere ....

Jeff Galloway training programs