Sunday, August 23, 2009

Best Kid in the World!

My munchkin came up to me a few minutes ago, climbed into lap, wrapped her arms around my neck and squeezed with all her might, and then loudly declared, "You are the best mommy in the world and I love you with my whole, great, big heart!"

That boost to my self-esteem should last until the end of the year! (And it makes up for the blow she delivered earlier when she waved her magic wand at me and shouted, "Disappear mommy's belly!" Then she shook the wand and said, "Hey, it's not working!")

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Road Trip

Holy smokes, it's been a long while in between blog posts. Things have been busy, as usual, craziness at work, getting ready for the new semester, and this weekend, a long trip for an out-of-town wedding. Not quite the road trip I was hoping for, but I spent 6 hours on Friday driving to Green Bay, WI for a wedding and 7 hours driving home today, so I definitely put the "road" in road trip.

I am so tired.

The wedding was lovely--but huge, around 400 guests--and the bride and groom were so completely and ridiculously in love, that it was hard not to smile ear to ear for them. Such wonderful people. My hubby was the best man and the kiddo had a great time at the reception, dancing all night long, including cutting in the bride and groom to dance with them, and staying up way past her bedtime. A good time was had by all.

The hotel we stayed at was quite nice, not even a year old, but hotels freak me out. Too many people in one space, and I cringe when I think about how many people have walked on the carpet in the room and slept in the beds. I also have an irrational fear of bedbugs. Isn't that funny? But seriously. I won't leave any clothes laying around and as soon as I get home, everything has to get washed and sanitized. I think some of it is my OCD, but some of it is because of a show I watched on Discovery about bedbugs. Why did I watch a show about bedbugs? I don't know. It was on and it was interesting, but now I'm more freaked out than ever.

Anyhoooo...the one thing about hotels that fascinates me is how soft the water is. We have hard water in my house, so I'm used to that. Hotels are different, and this hotel was WAY different. I used a few drops of shampoo and I had more suds than I knew what to do with. I rinsed off soap for more than 10 minutes and still felt a little soapy. Strange. But on the up side of all of this, all of that soft water did something great for my rosacea--my face wasn't red at all the whole weekend, which meant I didn't have to wear a lot of makeup. Woo-hoo! Makes me want to get a water softener for my house. Maybe. Yeah, maybe when the hubby is working again. Or if we win the lottery. Oh wait, we'd have to actually buy a ticket to have a chance at winning. Hmmmm...maybe there's some royal family monarch I don't know about who can wire me some extra cash. That would be good, too!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Saving Pennies (and Dollars)!

In light of my spouse's current unemployment, we're continuing to be cautious with our cash. However, there are still occasional things that are needed and wanted--we just have to weigh our priorities. For example, we went out for dinner last night. And not a fast food dinner. We went to Bd's Mongolian Grill. Now, it's not a 5-star restaurant, but we knew full well it was going to cost us more than $20. We spent double that, but I'm not sorry. There was a survey/audit at my company and we got a rocking 98% compliance rate. Rocked my world and was definitely a reason to celebrate since much of my job has to do with making sure we're in compliance with state standards. With that kind of a percentage, I'm feeling like my job is pretty secure. At least I hope so!

My other splurge was a shopping trip to Kohl's. I hardly ever pay full price for anything. I'm a clearance shopper and proud of it. That being said, I was digging through my closet looking for a dress to wear to a wedding that we're going to next weekend and realized that while I have nice clothes, all of them have been worn to a variety of family functions and friendly gatherings over the years. It was time for something new. I scoured the clearance racks, taking my time and got some great deals--not just on a dress, but also on some summer tops.

I got two dresses, one an ankle-length, black knit dress and the other a crisp, black and white patterned summer dress--each regularly priced at $42.00, but on sale for $17.99; five tank tops normally priced at $14.00, but being sold for $2.80 each, and a nice white top normally priced at $20.00 being sold for $4.00.

My total spent, including tax: $58.43

For me, that's a lot of money to spend on clothes. That total is nothing compared to what I saved...

Total saved: A whopping $120.02!

Those numbers make me realize how ridiculously over-priced stuff is. Seriously!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

August Already?

Summer is really zipping along. I'm a little sad, because of course I spent another summer working too much and not playing enough, but turning the calendar to August today gave a little thrill.

Why?

Because July sucked. Sorry, but it did.

Plus, turning the calendar means I'm another day closer to my next birthday. Awesome. Some people don't like getting older, but I'm not one of them. Turning 30 was a highlight for me. Turning 31 was awesome. Can't wait for 32.

I hated my teen years. Didn't like high school. I enjoyed college, but my early 20s were kind of awkward--that age where kids are trying to be adults and find themselves. Yeah, that was me. My mid-20s were peppered with the ups and downs of being a newlywed and navigating that new relationship. Not that being married was bad, but it's a big adjustment and anyone who knows me is fully aware that I DO NOT LIKE CHANGE.

Now, in fairness, that's not really true. I love change. As long as I'm in charge of the change.

I navigated my later 20s being a new mom and dealing with "stuff" that still gives me a headache when I think about it.

Turning 30 meant leaving behind a decade of more problems than solutions. Now, I'm not an eternal optimist, but I had it in my head that my 30s would rock my world. It didn't occur to me that my 30s would also bring a few extra strands of gray hair, deeper lines around my eyes and mouth, a slower metabolism, some freaky health problems and a general shift overall in how I relate to people.

In spite of that, I feel a tingling awareness in myself. Something telling me that the time for change is NOW. I don't know yet what that change is, but the feeling is strong enough that I've made a few decisions about my career and my future (more on that later). I feel like I crossed the finish line on the first third of my life and now I'm at the starting line for the second third of my life. Can't wait to see what's waiting for me on this new path.