Thoughts on Change

As I drive home from work today, the autumn air beckons me to roll the windows down and allow the wind to whip tangles into my hair. The fresh, cool air is such a welcome change from the baking sun that usually has me blasting the AC to make the short drive home bearable. My tummy is full of healthy foods that are good for the growing baby that’s gently nudging me from inside my belly. The smell of farm-grown basil and onions from a nearby field fill my car with a delicious scent that makes my mouth water. Moments later, I smell the familiar odor of a dairy farm as I drive past the familiar orchards of my childhood. My eyes well up with tears as I think of all the blessings that have occurred in the last six months.

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Six months may not seem like a long time or a significant career opportunity for “just a temp job,” but for me, this job was God’s perfect plan.

  • A job that I enjoyed driving to every day – Because of where my job was located, I had two options for travel: freeway or back roads. Most days, I chose the latter. These were familiar roads through my childhood neighborhood; I even passed my elementary school on the way. Over six months, I saw a barn built from nothing, political signs advocating the preservation of these acres as farmland, new orchards being planted, hay being harvested, fresh produce stands run by kids on summer break, multiple breeds of animals (including a coyote), and countless stunning sunrises that took my breath away.

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  • A job that came at the exact moment we needed it – With my husband’s lay off eight months prior, our emergency fund drained, me finishing my last semester of college, and no government aid to be had, we were days away from having to move out of our tiny apartment and rent a room from family. God provided this job at our greatest hour of need, allowing me to work a solid 25 hours a week until my husband found a full-time job two months later.

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  • A job that allowed me to work part-time while I finished school – Not only was I finishing my last semester, but my new boss gave me permission to work on homework during my down time. Yes, I was being paid to do homework on the job. Not only that, I was able to finish all of my coursework (including my senior thesis) a month before school was out.

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  • A job that allowed for a healthy start to pregnancy – Although I did not tell my employers about my pregnancy until I was 23 weeks along, I’ve been blessed with the ability to take care of myself while still working part-time. I was able to schedule prenatal appointments with my doctor without trouble. I was very lucky to not have any morning sickness. Instead, I spent my entire first trimester eating everything in sight. My job allowed for me to eat whenever I needed to, and I was spared any strenuous activity (except for walking back and forth to the ladies’ room). Working half days gave me the ability to schedule a two-hour nap right after work when I needed it and still have time to be productive in the rest of the day.

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Two weeks from today, I will be starting back at the job I had previous to this one – working as a writing tutor at the CSU Stanislaus Writing Center. It’s the best job I’ve ever had, and I’m so excited to be returning. In light of this news, I gave my two weeks’ notice at a job I started in February. Although this temp job hasn’t been one of the most exciting or fulfilling jobs, God placed me there at that exact moment for an exact purpose. And that may be the greatest blessing of all.

4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Days 6-9

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I’ve been supremely slacking in following up with this challenge! I find it’s easier for me to tackle a few days’ worth of projects together, but I’m working on spacing them out a little every day so I don’t get overwhelmed. One of my goals this week is to catch up on this challenge!

Complete a 15-minute pickup of main living areas

My main living areas are becoming less and less of a problem with clutter. I’ll be also focusing this time on the master bedroom as well.

Day 6 – Clean out your vehicle

I try to keep my car clean as best as I can, but it still can use a good cleaning every now and then. I was SHOCKED at how much debris there was on the floor of my car! It’s soooo much cleaner now that it’s been vacuumed and washed!

ahhh... so pretty!

ahhh… so pretty!

bag of stuff to leave the car!

bag of stuff to leave the car!

Day 7 – Wipe down all the baseboards in your home

Day 8 – Wipe down all the door handles in your home

Day 9 – Wipe down all the light switch plates in your home

Find 7 things to get rid of
(These are from my car)

  1. 2 textbooks
  2. 5 old maps
  3. 1 tub of lotion
  4. 1 takeout menu
  5. 1 expired coupon

We spent 2-3 hours on Sunday clearing out the future nursery. Lots of stuff got thrown out, moved to storage, and given away. I have no idea how many things there were, but it was more than 7.

Did you complete last week’s tasks? How’d it go?

Menu Plan Monday

Hello! I’m here with another Menu Plan Monday!

We’re trying to eat from the pantry this week, which means minimal shopping. I’m also planning another freezer cooking day soon, but this one won’t be as large of an effort. I’m thinking 3-4 recipes at the most.

Here’s the plan for this week:

Breakfasts:

Shakeology mocha frappuccinos

Cereal with milk

Snacks:

Homemade Energy Bites

Greek Yogurt

Fruit

Lunches:

Leftovers

Cobb Salad

Brown Butter Fish

Dinners:

Monday – Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake

Tuesday – Leftovers

Wednesday – Easy Chicken Bake

Thursday – Italian Wonderpot

Friday – Corn dogs

Saturday – Chicken wraps

Sunday – Leftovers

24 Weeks

24 weeks

How far along: 24 weeks! 16 weeks to go!

Gender: BOY!

Weight gained: About 19 lbs so far. I’m gaining an average of ¾ – 1 lb a week.

Workouts:  
Monday: Piyo Sweat, Taught Zumba
Tuesday: Piyo Define: Lower, Zumba choreo review at home, taught a Zumba Kids demo class
Thursday: Taught Zumba
Friday: PiYo Core & Define: Upper
Saturday: PiYo Sweat
Sunday: 2 hours of clearing out the nursery
I’m loving the PiYo program so far! Want to join me? Click here!

Clothing Choices:  Dresses, dresses, dresses. I’m also loving my Gap workout pants.

Belly button: Inny

Sleep: I’m waking up at 2-3 times a night now.

Best moment this week:  Announcing the full name for our baby and beginning the process of clearing out the nursery!

josiah samwise

Hardest moment this week:  Telling my temp agency about my pregnancy. I’m still not sure what will happen!

What I’m missing: Sleep. And cocktails. I’ve been making mocktails with sparkling water lately.

Movement: He definitely moves more on certain days than others. He’s getting quite wiggly, and I’m pretty sure he had the hiccups this week!

Cravings:  Thanksgiving dinner. Soup.

Queasy or sick: I’m feeling great!

Looking forward to: Finishing up the nursery clear-out so we can start putting the room together!

Strange Dreams:  Last night I dreamed my grandma was 38 weeks pregnant. Her, my mom, and my aunt went to redeem treat receipts on the last day and I couldn’t go with them for some reason. My mom tried calling to see what I wanted, but the phone was too complicated for me to figure out how to answer it. I called her back 30 second later, and they were already walking in the door. I was really upset.  I woke myself up sobbing, “It’s fine.”

Another dream crossed Hook with the mole people episode of Bones. It was SUPER weird.

10 Weekly Goals

goals pic

I fell behind on a lot of my goals this week. I got caught up with being lazy in the afternoons, and I watched too much TV this week. I made Friday a “no TV day” to try to catch up on some work. We spent a good chunk of time clearing out the nursery this weekend, but I need to get back on track with my organizing challenge. Here’s to a fresh start!

Last week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

  1. Write a love note to Spencer
  2. Read part 6 of Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage
  3. Complete days 6-10 of the “4 weeks to a more organized home” challenge

Personal Goals:

  1. Finish reading 2 Samuel
  2. Keep up with daily routines
  3. Exercise 6 days this week

Financial/Hobby Goals:

  1. Blog 6 times
  2. Work 5 hours on BeachBody
  3. Read Developing the Leader Within You, and finish part 1 of Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
  4. Work on a crafting project

 

This week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

  1. Write a love note to Spencer
  2. Start a baby registry
  3. Catch up on days 6-10 & complete days 11-15 of the “4 weeks to a more organized home” challenge

Personal Goals:

  1. Read 1 Kings
  2. Keep up with daily routines
  3. Exercise 6 days this week

Financial/Hobby Goals:

  1. Blog 4 times
  2. Work 5 hours on BeachBody
  3. Start a P90X3 challenge group
  1. Take the Strengths Finder 2.0 test & read about my 5 strengths

What are your goals for the week?

 

Menu Plan Monday

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Hello! I’m here with another Menu Plan Monday!

I’m not feeling super inspired this week for menus. I need some inspiration to hit! I’m sharing a super simple menu plan this week.

Here’s the plan for this week:

Breakfasts:

Shakeology w/almond milk and spinach

Freezer Breakfast Burritos

Snacks:

Homemade Energy Bites

Greek Yogurt

Green juice

Protein shakes

Lunches:

Cobb Salad

Homemade Freezer Hot Pockets

Dinners:

Monday – Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake

Tuesday – Homemade pizza

Wednesday – Chicken Soft Tacos

Thursday – Italian Wonderpot

Friday – Grilled salmon w/veggies

Saturday – Fried Rice

Sunday – Leftovers

What’s on your menu this week?

23 Weeks

23 Weeks

I hit my 23rd week on Friday! It’s the start of my 6th month!

How far along: 23 weeks!

Gender: BOY!

Weight gained: About 17 lbs so far. I’m gaining an average of ¾ lbs a week.

Workouts:  
Monday: Piyo Align, Taught Zumba
Tuesday: Piyo Define: Lower, Zumba choreo review at home, taught a Zumba Kids demo class
Wednesday: Piyo Define: Upper
Thursday: Taught Zumba
Friday: 1.5 mile walk, PiYo Sweat, 4 hours of cooking
Saturday: PiYo Define: Lower
Sunday: 1.5 hours of housecleaning/organizing
I’m loving the PiYo program so far! Want to join me? Click here!

Clothing Choices:  Dresses, dresses, dresses. I’m also loving my Gap workout pants.

Belly button: Inny, but I officially “popped” this week. There’s no mistaking the shape of this belly!

Sleep: I’m waking up at 3:30am on a consistent basis. I usually toss and turn the rest of the night, sometimes getting up 3 times a night. I spent pretty much all Sunday afternoon sleeping to make up for my crappy sleep patterns.

Best moment this week:  Saturday was fantastic! I got my hair chopped off, which I’ve been wanting to do for a few weeks now. I also got to go on a date with my hubby! He took me out to lunch at Olive Garden, and then we went shopping at Hobby Lobby to get some crafty supplies to make nursery décor!

Hardest moment this week:  My horrendous sleep pattern as of late…

What I’m missing: Cooler weather. I can’t wait for fall!

Movement: I SAW my belly jump for the first time this week during worship team practice!

Cravings:  I had a desperate craving for a mushroom swiss burger this week, so I picked one up for lunch. No regrets!

Queasy or sick: I was feeling queasy all day yesterday, but that was probably from lack of sleep. Napping seemed to help a lot.

Looking forward to: Starting back at the CSU Stanislaus writing center as a tutor! I loved tutoring last year, so I’m thrilled to have the chance to go back to it!

Strange Dreams:  I’ve had several strange dreams lately, but I can’t remember any specifics.

New haircut!

New haircut!

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4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Days 4 & 5

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Sorry I’m a bit late on this post! Better late than never. :)

Complete a 15-minute pickup of main living areas

I completely missed these days and only did the daily tasks. Oops! My main living areas are getting to be less and less of an issue. Hooray! This week I’ll be focused on picking up the master bedroom, too.

Day 4 – Move furniture & vacuum underneath

Yuck.

Yuck.

Day 5 – Clean your couches

Since I can’t move furniture due to pregnancy, I had to wait for the weekend to finish these tasks so my husband could help. While he had the couches moved, I vacuumed and mopped underneath. I also cleaned the baseboards behind the couches since that’s on the task list for this week! I still need to move the bed and TV stand to get everything good and clean underneath, but that will probably wait until next weekend.

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And a photobomb from Pippin…

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Find 7 things to get rid of

I found a few random things under the couches. They’ve at least been dealt with!

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  1. A pack of tissues
  2. A felt foot for furniture
  3. Disposable protective eye wear for after a visit to the eye doctor
  4. A cat toy
  5. Broken pieces of an outlet
  6. A recipe
  7. 2 pennies

Did you complete last week’s tasks? How’d it go?

10 Weekly Goals

goals pic

I’m still working on my list of goals. I was able to finish quite a few of them!

I was able to complete the first week of the 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home challenge, even though my blogging about it was lax. I’ll be posting my results from Day 4-5 today. I was able to keep up with exercise 6 days this week, and still remained active on my rest day.

Last night, my husband and I were able to work on a crafty project together. We’re making some décor for the nursery! We painted wooden crosses last night. It was so fun to bust out my paint set again!

Last week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

  1. Write a love note to Spencer
  2. Read part 4 of Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage
  3. Complete days 1-5 of the “4 weeks to a more organized home” challenge

Personal Goals:

  1. Read 2 Samuel
  2. Keep up with new daily routines
  3. Exercise 6 days

Financial/Hobby Goals:

  1. Blog 6 times
  2. Work 5 hours on BeachBody
  3. Read Developing the Leader Within You, part 1 of Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  4. Work on a crafting project

 

This week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

  1. Write a love note to Spencer
  2. Read part 6 of Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage
  3. Complete days 6-10 of the “4 weeks to a more organized home” challenge

Personal Goals:

  1. Finish reading 2 Samuel
  2. Keep up with daily routines
  3. Exercise 6 days this week

Financial/Hobby Goals:

  1. Blog 6 times
  2. Work 5 hours on BeachBody
  3. Read Developing the Leader Within You, and finish part 1 of Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
  4. Work on a crafting project

 

What are your goals for the week?

 

4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Days 2 & 3

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Welcome back to the 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home challenge! I’m delighted by the amount of things I’m finding to get rid of!

Complete a 15-minute pickup of main living areas

I missed day 2, so I’m roping these two days in together! That means I spent 30 minutes picking up main living areas.

Day 2 – Clean out your fridge

Day 3 – Clean out your freezer

I was able to do both of these tasks fairly quickly, as I recently cleaned out the fridge. I threw out anything that was expired from both the fridge and freezer. I definitely need a wire shelf for the freezer to utilize the space better!

Fridge before

Fridge before

Fridge after

Fridge after

Fridge door before

Fridge door before

Fridge door after

Fridge door after

Freezer before

Freezer before

Freezer after

Freezer after

Freezer door before

Freezer door before

Freezer door after

Freezer door after

Find 7 things to get rid of (that means 14 for me!)

2014-08-06 13.36.21A stack of expired coupons

  1. 1 receipt
  2. An old thank you note
  3. 2 old pieces of mail
  4. 1 packing slip
  5. 1 “we missed you” notice
  6. 2 catalogs
  7. 2 magazines
  8. 2 balloon weights
  9. 1 box unopened tea
  10. 1 Weight Watchers salad Tupperware
  11. 2 Starbucks reusable cups
  12. 4 partial bottles of booze (1 not pictured)
  13. A large stack of egg cartons

If you count those individually, that’s 22 items for today, or 37 items total since the beginning of the challenge!

Have you done today’s tasks yet? How’d it go?