Friday, August 31, 2012


I wrote this last year at this time. I'm just reposting the link, because it fits today just as it did that day. The feelings of apathy last night as my Facebook newsfeed was popping up with posts about the high school rivalry game. The feelings of excitement as college football starts tomorrow.

Fun With Fingerpaint

Parenting. In all my experience, you know, all 23 months of it, it's largely a great experience. It's full of wonder and excitement, love and laughter, but nobody said it was always rosy. No, some days I teeter between feeling immense joy and wanting to pull my hair out. Having kids is a roller coaster ride sometimes. Recently, we had one of those days when Dinah was getting on my last nerve. Between her not listening to a word I said, and her frequent whining, I was getting pretty irritated.
So, what did I do? I decided to put off the housework, and change things up a bit. I whipped up a batch of homemade Fingerpaint, taped some wax paper on the kitchen table, and let her go to town. It was a great way to redirect our attention and adjust our attitudes. She had a blast, repeating "I painting" over and over, pointing out the different colors that she knew and even painting on Mom's hand. By the end, everything was covered so I asked if she was ready to clean up. She replied, "I want bath." Great idea, kiddo! So we moved our party to the bathroom and got everything cleaned up.
Sometimes you just need a change in activity to change your attitude.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Life Is A Highway

In the summer of 2006, I went to the theater with my roommate, Leslie, and my friend, Dean to watch the Disney/Pixar movie Cars. We had a good time, and really enjoyed the movie. It's really funny to me to look back at the progression of one movie in my life.
Leslie was always burning us mixed CDs back then, and one of the volumes of Summer 2006 included songs from the Cars movie soundtrack. A few weeks later, Dean asked me out and we jammed out to that mixed CD, particularly one song from that soundtrack, Rascal Flatts' remake of the song Life Is A Highway.
I never would have guessed the night I watched that movie that a few weeks later I'd be jamming out to the soundtrack with the guy beside me on our first date. I really never would have pictured being married to him, and having an almost two year old, who would bring us that DVD and ask to watch it. That's exactly what happened this weekend, though. I couldn't help but sit there watching that old familiar movie, thinking about how it all unfolded.
Tom Cochrane was right. Life is a highway.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


A week or two ago, Dinah and I went to work with Dean. He was putting a few finishing touches on some work he'd done on someone's house.

Dinah enjoyed running around in their yard. I was most taken with one of the dogs, Red. He spent the majority of the time wherever we were, and preferred that we be petting him and loving on him whenever possible. I wanted to take him home with me, but you can't just kidnap someone's dog...and he wouldn't fit in my car.

He was a Giant Alaskan Malamute. And, they don't call them giant for nothing. Dinah could've easily fit inside him. He could walk up and look straight in the trunk of my Malibu. And, as you can see by the pictures, his foot was nearly the size of mine (about an 8 1/2 women's).

He was awesome.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Don’t Be So Cheap

It’s been kind of a dry year, in more ways than one for a lot of people. I’ve tried to switch up a few little things for the sake of being frugal. Last year sometime, I started making my own laundry soap. My sister-in-law had been doing it for quite awhile, and I finally gave it a shot. It’s been a great success. It gets the job done, I don’t have to worry about remembering to put it on the grocery list, and it saves me money. That worked out so well, it made me want to see what else I could do myself. And then, things got a little tighter still, and I crossed the line. Yes, there’s a line, the line between being frugal and just being cheap. I’ve learned that lesson more than once this year, usually in small ways, but enough that when all added up, it made me take notice.

First, I made my husband cut my hair to save on the cost of a haircut. It worked out pretty well. He did a great job. So, the next time I needed a haircut, I convinced him to do it again. He was a little more nervous the second time, but still did well. By the third time, he was even more nervous, and really didn’t want to, but he gave in and did it. He made one snip too much, and lost it. I told him it would be fine, that I would go get it fixed the next day. He told me not to be so cheap the next time. So, I went to get it fixed. The problem is, I went to someone I hadn’t personally been to before, just because it was convenient. I ended up with a much shorter cut than I thought was necessary, but I could deal with it. I let it grow out for a few months, and then cut it again. This time, it was necessary to cut it super short again so that it wasn’t shaped weird when it grew. In other words, I wouldn’t have a mullet. Mullets are not good, never have been and never will be…for anyone.

That was the main example of my crossing the line between frugal and cheap. The next couple weren’t so major, but still enough that I’ll not do it again. I went to buy deodorant, and just went with the plain, cheap scent. It still works fine, because I still bought a decent brand, but now I’m stuck with a smell that I hate. I could replace it, but I’m too cheap. Then, I bought some eye shadow at the dollar store. Sometimes dollar store products work just fine. Eye shadow is not one of those products. Well, not unless you want to put on the eye shadow first, then have to wash the whole rest of your face, because you’re covered in it. I got tired of the extra washing, and finally chunked it.

It could’ve been bad. I could’ve been walking around with a Bieber cut, entire face covered in eye shadow, and arm pits smelling just like cheap soap.

So, the moral of the story: being frugal = good, being cheap = bad.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Pin Me Some Food

If you’ve been outside of your house at all in the last few months, and you have internet access, then you are probably on pinterest. I’m going to guess you’ve at least heard of it. I, like many others, signed up to see what all the hype was about, didn’t get it, and moved on with my life. Then one day, I signed in again, and something clicked in my brain and I’ve been pinning ever since. I’m not crazy about it, spending every waking moment pinning and repinning, but I do enjoy getting new ideas and being able to keep track of things I see and don’t want to forget about.
Most of what I pin is food. And, I’ll be honest; I haven’t tried half of the things I thought were interesting. But, I get some good ideas from there. I’ve tried a couple recipes that were just so-so, and I’ve tried a few that have become staples for us. Someday, I’ll get around to trying the other recipes I’ve pinned. But, in the meantime, I wanted to share my favorite recipe that I found on pinterest.
The recipe I pinned came from a blog called Pennies on a Platter (, but she adapted it from a recipe from
It’s super easy and pretty delicious.

Here’s the recipe:
Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

· 3 oz cream cheese, softened
· ¼ c green salsa
· 1 T lime juice
· ½ t ground cumin
· 1 t chili powder
· ½ t onion powder
· 2 cloves garlic, minced
· 3 T chopped cilantro
· 2 T sliced green onions
· 2 c shredded cooked chicken
· 2 c shredded cheese
· Small tortillas
· Salt
· Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, salsa, lime juice, ground cumin, chili powder, onion powder and garlic. Once combined, stir in the cilantro and green onions. Add the chicken and cheese; mix thoroughly. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture onto tortilla and roll tightly.
Place tortilla, rolled side down, on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining mixture.
Spray lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt. Bake 15-20 minutes.
*in case you don’t know much about cooking, T= tablespoon, t= teaspoon, c= cup.
** I omitted the cilantro, because I absolutely loathe the stuff. And, I serve it with guacamole, because it seems fitting and because I’ll take any excuse I can get to eat guacamole.
So, there it is! Make it. Eat it. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
What is your favorite pinterest recipe? Please share!

Friday, August 3, 2012

A Weekend with Grandma and Grandpa

Last weekend, Dean’s parents came to visit. Dinah had a blast with her Grandma and “Papa.”
Here’s a quick recap:

Friday night, they took her out for hamburgers and ice cream while we went to dinner for our anniversary.

They came bearing gifts. The original plan was to take her to the zoo, so they had brought her a hat for the day in the sun.

They brought new sand for her sandbox, and Papa cleaned out the box, refilled it and cleaned up the toys.

We all went to work for a couple hours with Daddy on Saturday morning. She loved exploring the empty house, “helping,” and playing in the sink. Afterward, we went to lunch and the splash pad.

After church on Sunday, we went out for lunch. Dinah was asleep when we got there, but after she woke up she laughed and played and talked and had a great time. Then right as our food arrived, she threw up all over her daddy and the waiter brought her a t-shirt to wear. Then she felt much better and laughed and played some more.

We had a great visit, and when we got home Dinah and Daddy both crashed.