Monday, August 26, 2013

Back to School Shopping

I'm done with school.
For like ever.

Until I have my own sweet kiddos, that I'm packing off with lunch boxes and tied shoelaces, there is no "back to school" season for me.

No excuse to go to office depot and target and fill my mom's grocery cart with colorful spiral notebooks, and highlighters, and my favorite number 2 pencils. No excuse to hit the racks for new skirts and tights and chunky sweaters. A new pair jeans, or maybe two. Please?

When we were younger sister and I hit it big in the back school shopping department. My parents (and grandparents) spoiled us. We'd spend hours at the mall, in and out of dressings rooms trying to agree on what was "cool."  We'd always come home with some great new outfits that we'd lay out all over the bed and admire.

When dad got home we'd hold a fashion show. One by one sister and I would come down the stairs to show off each new ensemble. I remember eagerly deciding what I would wear on the first day and being simultaneously really nervous and excited as I boarded the bus, wondering who my teacher would be, and would I have any friends in my lunch period.

If I could justify back to school shopping this year, these would be some of my picks...
navy parka | chiffon dress | wishbone necklace | my favorite pencils | ruffled henley | averly pullover | OPI You Don't Know Jaques | jumbo sticky note padlong cardi |  Herschel backpack | thin strappy heel | wallet

Unfortunately back to school shopping, or whatever you call it in these post school-age years,  doesn't really work with my whole "save as much money as possible" plan. #grownupproblems

Friday, August 23, 2013

Boring grown up problems.

Well, I guess I am officially a grown up (sort of). I can vote, drink, rent a car and.... as of yesterday I have a brand new credit card. Yes. I am 25 years old and I am just now getting my very first credit card.

You all probably think I'm stupid and irresponsible for waiting this long to start building credit.
Honestly I don't really have a good reason for why I didn't get a credit card sooner. Maybe because I don't really understand what you need one for? Maybe because I think it's a bit of a scam?

I earn a salary and I pay for things with money that I have, either with my debit card or cash.  I've never needed credit. I am responsible with my finances (most of the time... ignore the new outfit I bought for the wedding, and the plane tickets I just bought for Labor Day weekend). I pay my bills on time, I have no student loans to pay off or car payments to make (thank you, thank you, times a trillion mom and dad) and yet if I wanted to buy a home tomorrow I would likely not get approved as I have no credit.

No credit apparently is like bad credit in the eyes of the bank/the world and that sucks.

I'm not planning to buy a home tomorrow. But I am planning on a future that will include a home of my own. One that I can decorate and love and fill with my family (and put all those Pinterest ideas to work).

But y'all I know nothing... I may check all the adult boxes, but I had to ask my mom to explain to me how a mortgage works. Mostly, I had no idea what happens to the mortgage if you move out of the house before you finish paying it off. Thanks for dumbing it all down for me mom!

Aren't you glad you decided to read this post? It's super interesting and fun right?
Apparently being an adult also means getting worked up about your finances, on a Friday.

Let's break it down.

I take the metro to work every day, $8.20 round trip. Most days, either because I'm running late, I'm feeling lazy, or it's raining, I also drive to the metro and park-even though I live within 10 minutes walking distance. To park at the metro is another $5 every day.  Also, I pretty much buy my lunch every day. That's another $8-$10 every afternoon.

While the metro travel is a non-negotiable (ridiculously expensive yes, but I have to get to work somehow), the $5 parking is quite simply a waste of money.  I have two legs, and an umbrella. I should be walking everyday and saving that $25 a week.

If I bring my lunch to work every day that's another $50 a week.
But...lunch is a tricky subject. I don't want to sit at my desk and eat leftovers or my sad little yogurt and stare longingly out the window (that I don't have) but I really want to check off #43, pack my lunch every day for an entire week.  On nice weather days I can enjoy my lunch in the park or somewhere outside. But what do I do when it rains or in the winter (or when it's a thousand degrees outside) when the park is no longer an option?

These are the things I worry about? Hah.

But now that I have a credit card to call my own, and now that I know I don't have near enough money squirreled away for a down payment, I am feeling like it's time to get serious about my spending habits.

Ugh, the math/number hater in me is squirming.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

and here we are

This past weekend was a lot of simple, quiet, comfy, quality time with my parents 
and also just a little bit of dressing up. 

I got to sleep in (still not caught up on rest after camp it would seem) 
and have breakfast with my parents
and hold their hands while I said the grace
and sit outside on the patio 
and drink iced coffee 
and watch the hummingbirds and butterflies
and get lost in pinterest and relax and dream about the future.  
And we took Dixie for a walk
and went out for Thai food
and found a field of Sunflowers as tall as Jack's beanstalk
We roasted marshmallows
and kept an eye open for the swooping bats 
and listened to music
and to Dixie chasing bumble bees. 
Sunday we went to that wedding I told you about.
We had champagne and cotton candy
and toasted our friends
and danced until my feet hurt
and my parents are so fun!

And then morning came too early
and my mom drove me to that stupid train station 
before the sun was up
and I rode back to DC
and started a new week 
and here we are. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Five on Friday

one. I am heading out of town AGAIN this weekend.
This time to celebrate the wedding of a long time, really old friend. (I posted about her shower here).
I am so excited to see her get married. I just know her wedding is going to be sparkly and lovely.

two. When debating what dress to pack for this wedding weekend I realized that pretty much every dress I've worn to a wedding (as a guest) since college has been coral colored. I rotate around the same 3 dresses and all my pictures end up looking basically like the same wedding...
three. This time I said no! Not another coral dress! I went out on my lunch break yesterday and picked up this pretty little dress from Macy's and these heels from Nordstrom Rack. Don't worry though, I brought a coral pashmina to throw around my shoulders just in case.

four. Let's talk accessories...I'm bringing a few options. Right now I'm leaning towards the big Kate Spade studs but I'm not sure which necklace, if any I should wear. Any opinions? Maybe my mom will have a fun bracelet I can borrow.

five. While I know the bride and her family, I really won't know any other guests at the wedding other than my parents. But I have so much fun going to weddings with my parents! I love dancing with my dad, and my mom and I love to put our heads together and critique comment on all the wedding details. Plus I think it's good practice for them to see me at weddings so that when my day comes my dad won't need to be sedated.... who are we kidding, my dad is going to need to be sedated!

Hope you all have a fun weekend in store as well!
Head on over here to link up your 5 on Friday.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

the hodgepodge

1. My sister earned her Master's Degree this past weekend...what's something you've 'mastered' in recent weeks or months?
I think it's safe to say I mastered the art of sleeping "comfortably" on a bus with 30 highschoolers for 2 days. You should all be impressed.
2. What song most reminds you of your childhood?
My mom sang this song all the time to my sister and I. It's from the Hide Em in Your Heart series, which we had on cassette tape. Along with the Wee Sing Bible Songs, they remind me so much a my childhood, and church plays, and singing in the choir and Sunday school. I think they are great for memorizing bible verses- I still remember them to this day. 
3. What do you think about single gender groups and/or events? Should every group/event be open to both genders? If not, what sort of exceptions do you think are appropriate?
Ugh this is such an annoying subject. There is no blanket yes or no answer but my thoughts went first to the middle/high school years. I don't think it's necessary to have single gender schools or classes, unless that's you're personal preference. But when it comes to smaller groups, and things like sports teams, I just don't see why everyone get's so worked up with a little division. Boys and girls are different. It's just a fact. We are made different and those differences are what make us unique and beautiful. We think differently, feel differently, and we look at every. single. solitary piece. of life differently. At camp we have "cabin time" where we go a little deeper and unpack the message that we heard from the camp speaker. Obviously boys and girls are in separate cabins. I just crack up when I learn that on the same night the girls in our cabin are crying and sharing and crying some more, the boys in their cabin say maybe 17 words total.

Also, Boy Scouts is for boys. Girls Scouts is for girls. And don't even get me started on girls and boys on the same wrestling team. It's just awkward and wrong. Deal with it.

4. What's your favorite spice? Your favorite dish containing your favorite spice?
Cinnamon. Baked cinnamon apples. Or Chili. In a big steaming bowl of chili with meat and beans and melty cheese on top.  I think I'm ready for fall now.

5. Chevron patterns are everywhere! Do you like it or think its just a little too much? Do you own anything 'chevron'?
I think it's a fun pattern but it's just waayyy too trendy for me to get on board. People will probably hate me for this but I think it's gone too far. It truly is everywhere, on the walls and floors of people's houses, on pants, and tote bags, and picture frames. I'm pretty sure it's not going to last forever and then what are you going to do when you're sick and tired of the blue and white hall bath?
6. What's something you disliked as a child, but can fully appreciate now?
Home depot. It smelled weird, it always took "forever" to find whatever we needed, and it usually meant there would be some sort of home or garden project when we were finished shopping.

7. What can irritate you very quickly?
Negative Nancys.  At camp we hiked up a huge mountain with 400 high school kids... about 10 minutes in I was already sick of the "how long is this going to take," "when do we get lunch," "can I sit at the bottom and wait," "why are you making us do this," crap. I'm not saying the hike wasn't hard. In fact, it was probably one of the hardest things I've ever done. The mountain was a great equalizer and everyone, from the athletes to couch potatoes, was wheezing and panting. And I'm not saying I didn't want to sit down and cry when I turned the corner expecting to see the summit and instead saw the trail continue out of sight. But at some point you just got to shut up and suck it up. In the end, like I promised every kid I passed sitting on the side of the trail, the peak was so very worth it. It always is.
8. Insert a random thought....
Does anyone else now think of this Geico commercial every Wednesday? Happy hump day!

 Click below to hop on over to my mom's blog
Link up your answers and join the Wednesday Hodgepodge!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

You're beautiful...

I got home yesterday from Young Life camp, after a 38 hour bus ride.
It was an incredible 10 days surrounded by the Rocky Mountains and God's creation, loving on high schoolers and pointing them to Christ in everything we did.

From the ropes course, to the rappel tower.  To the top of Chrysolite Mountain- 13,000 ft up, a lot of whining, followed by rejoicing and a mountaintop sermon.  We sang Taylor Swift and then worship music at the top of our lungs. We rode horses, and square-danced, and celebrated Christmas in August. We laughed and cried at the skits and the message. And on the last day we all dined at one long table. I imagine dinner in heaven looks something like this- surrounded by smiling faces of the friends that I pray come to know Jesus.

The TRUTH was made real and accessible to kids carrying around more pain and heartache and stress and fears and worries and loneliness, and rough, jagged edges. And they got a chance to just be kids. To be innocent and vulnerable.

And as they let down their defenses, hearts were broken, and then healed, and restored by our Savior.
And it was beautiful. 

I see Your face in every sunrise
The colors of the morning are inside Your eyes
The world awakens in the light of the day
I look up to the sky and say,  You’re beautiful

I see Your power in the moonlit night
Where planets are in motion and galaxies are bright
We are amazed in the light of the stars
It’s all proclaiming who You are
You’re beautiful, You're beautiful

I see you there hanging on a tree
You bled and then you died and then you rose again for me
Now you are sitting on Your heavenly throne
Soon we will be coming home
You’re beautiful, you're beautiful

When we arrive at eternity’s shore
Where death is just a memory and tears are no more
We’ll enter in as the wedding bells ring
Your bride will come together and we’ll sing
You’re beautiful, You're beautiful, You're beautiful

Thursday, August 1, 2013

my sister

I just need to take moment and really brag about my sister.
The best gift my parents ever gave me was a sister
She is my best friend, my favorite person. 
She and I went to the same university, we were in the same sorority, we can give each other a look and know we're thinking the same thing. 
She's sweet and soft (even when she's feisty and prickly). 
She has the biggest heart and I just love this girl.
For the past almost 2 years sister has been working her butt off to finish her Masters in Early Childhood Education. In between classes and research papers and shadowing and substituting and working, working, working, she has been preparing to become the best elementary school teacher you ever did see.

See, when sister and I were younger we used to "play" school. We would take turns being the teacher and making lesson plans and pretending we understood algebra. (a=1, b=2, c=3.... wait you mean that's not how algebra works?) For her birthday one year sister even asked for, and received, a real overhead projector. You know, the awesome old school kind that weighs a ton, with the transparency sheets and markers. 

As grad school graduation approaches she anxiously applied for positions around the district and waited, and was frustrated, and discouraged, and excited, and just so so ready to have her own classroom and her own lucky group of kids to call her their teacher.

Yesterday she had an interview for a 3rd grade position. She called me after it was over and felt good about it. One of the people interviewing her was named Shannon and in our family we call that a "god wink." Still, she didn't want to get her hopes up. We know that the right class, in the right school, will come along. If this doesn't work out then it's not meant to be.  Be ohhh how we've been praying and praying for it to work out this time.

A few hours later on my way home from work I see my sister's name pop up on my phone.
Of course there is no service on the metro so I can't answer. 
But I just knew. Right that second.
She got a job. She's going to be a teacher. 
I am almost giddy with anticipation and the second my train comes above ground I call her right back.
I just couldn't wait to hear her voice tell me the good news that I already know in my heart.

Sister is going to be a 3rd grade teacher! I think everyone on that metro thought I was nuts as I shouted for joy for her. Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, I am soooooooooo excited for her!! I just feel so proud and so relieved that things have fallen in to place so perfectly and at the just the right time. We thank you Lord!

And I'm so excited for those sweet students that will be coming into her classroom this year, the one she's been pinning ideas and planning lessons for.
The one she's been dreaming of since she was a little girl playing school in our basement.