Friday, July 29, 2016

10 Random Facts About Me

1. I am a libra, and pretty much everything that a libra is supposed to be describes me.
Of course the Picture doesn't list the negative traits but I have them as well. Detached, indecisive, and self-indulgent to name a few.

2. I was 30 before I had my first child and if I had it to do over again, I would have started earlier.

3. I am a nurse. Some of my fondest and most proud moments came with nursing school and working as a nurse. (this is really just the only picture I could find of myself in scrubs)

4. After graduating nursing school and getting my first job I bought myself my dream car (since before I was 16) and we took it to get dirty.

5. I like to shoot, I have my CHL, and own a shotgun and PK380. I want to add a revolver next, still deciding which one.

6. When I was pregnant with H, I was pretty certain I was having a Bowser...

7. I didn't always worship God like I do now. I didn't grow up in a church. I have probably been to church more consistent in the last 6 months than ever in my entire life. My outlook and attitude on life has also changed for the better over the last 6 months.

8. Even though J says that I am not a true dog person because I do not like dog licks, I wouldn't trade these two knuckleheads for anything in the world.

9. I worked 12 hour nursing shifts up until 2 days before I went into labor. And I am pretty darn proud of that. I took this on that last shift.

10. I breastfed H until after she was 2 years old. I wasn't one of those girls who knew I was going to breastfeed a long time before I was even pregnant. I knew of the benefits but everyone always talks about how hard it is. So, I was considering myself lucky if I made it until I went back to work. But it worked for us. It was right for us. So I kept on breastfeeding, and I am so glad I did. People (especially family) was always asking me when I was going to stop. It got SO old ha!

Now that Caspian is almost 6 months we get asked a lot when we are stopping...ugh. I just respond with "Whenever he weans himself" :):

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Android Application I Find Most Useful

Recently J and I have been using the Google Keep app. We have loved it since we downloaded it. It is an app to take down notes/to-dos/reminders/whatever and share with other people. I look at it like a bunch of sticky notes in my phone.

We first started using it for a grocery list. I started a grocery list one day and added J to it, now we can both add to and edit the grocery list. It updates in real time too. If you both have the app open you can watch the different items being added. 

Aside from the awesome grocery list we have a list for ideas for a road trip we are planning for next summer and our weekly menu I talked about here. Then I have some personal lists that J is not linked to. 

You can make check lists (like my grocery list), draw a list, make an audio note, or add a photo of something. You can even color code your notes or lists to categorize them. 

This is a screenshot of my personal notes right now. Pretty boring right now. I have made reminders in the app to make certain phone calls or take care of certain business. At one point, I also had a "before" picture of myself to try to motivate me to stay on a diet and exercise regimen. 

Have you ever used Google Keep?

Do you have a favorite app?

Monday, July 25, 2016

Weekend Wrap Up

This weekend was a very good and relaxing weekend.

Saturday we took the dogs for their yearly check up and vaccinations. They checked out good. This is actually the first time we have taken them to the vet and they didn't tell us they were slightly overweight. Score. While H napped, I set up my sewing machine for the first time since we moved to mend some clothing. After H woke up we went out for ice cream at a cute locally owned shop that lets you draw on their floors with sidewalk chalk.

Saturday night was full of dress up, baby doll playing, and making all sorts of things with H's kitchen. It's amazing just how fast she can totally destroy her room.

Sunday funday was a typical Sunday as far as grocery shopping and church went. We had a special guest for our pizza outing though. One of our friends from J's old unit is in town for the week so he came to have dinner with us. It's been about a year since we have seen him. We tried to tell H how much he used to hold her when she was a little baby but she wasn't super convinced....

Todays sermon was about the holy spirit and the spiritual gifts he gave us and how to tap into them. I have some more reading I want to do in the following week. It has really made me think that I am missing some gift that was given to me. I really need to do better listening and inviting God to use me to serve others. So, with that being said, on my reading list for this week is (not limited to) Romans 12:4-8, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4:11-13

Does anyone have any tips on keeping the kids from totally destroying their rooms?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Castillo de San Marcos

Last Saturday we hopped in the car and drove the 5 hours down to St. Augustine, FL to check out Castillo de San Marcos. St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied city within the contiguous United States, founded in 1565. The fort was built by the Spanish engineer Ignacio Daza in 1695. The architecture and construction of the fort is very interesting and you can read more about that here.

There was a very awesome cannon firing from the park rangers and volunteer actors. They do this several times each day.

I guess given its location, this is a very busy site. We are not used to this big of a crowd on our visits to the national parks.

Below is a picture of the drawbridge

This next picture is looking down into the middle of the fort from the top.

Looking out to the Atlantic ocean

In the end, I recommend going to see this fort. My only advice would be to schedule a weekend trip in St. Augustine vs a day trip. It is a very neat city and there are many other things to see there. Oh, also go in a cooler month than July. Although it is drafty, there is no AC and it's super muggy in Florida in July.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Weekend Wrap Up

We had a great weekend here in Georgia! J will be home the next few weekends so we are trying to make the most of family time.

Friday night, J and I cleaned out 3 boxes that were still packed from our move 10 months ago. I'm a little ashamed of that ha! They were stacked in the spare bedroom so it looks much better now with those gone. We still have H's crib we need to get rid of. It's hard to bring myself to get rid of it. We still have some boxes in the storage area but that is mostly seasonal stuff that needs to be stored anyhow. I will move to minimizing that stuff after I get the house like I want it.

This Saturday we added another stamp to our National Park Passport book by going to the Castillo de Sans Marcos. It is located in St. Augustine, FL. I will share all the details of the trip in another post. It is an awesome fort still standing that was built in 1695. That's almost 100 years before America was founded! It is in amazing shape to be that old.

Sunday was our usual grocery shopping, church, and Marco's Pizza. H thinks it is super funny to hold us down and lick us. I blame her daddy for that. She got him good waiting for out pizza today.

On the way home we saw one of the Lords great promises.

I am going to try to start getting up and getting to the gym in the morning before H wakes up and before getting ready for work. It's going to take a lot of effort it will be worth it. I have about 10 extra pounds that I have put on since moving here. So after coming home from dinner I did a little meal prep and made some chicken with fresh basil from my herb garden.

Friday, July 15, 2016

My Top Pinterest Finds On Minimalism

When you think of minimalism, do you think of black, white, gray, clean lines, and modern furniture in bare walled home? That was me not too long ago. One day I was trying to clean up and got overwhelmed by everything, When we got PCS'd here we moved into a house that was 500 square feet smaller than our last with a kitchen the size of a postage stamp. I have trouble finding places for everything. So I gave up and sat on the couch and started pinning. That's when I stumbled upon the whole minimalism thing and learned that it is so much more than how a place looks and how many clothes you own. I am tired of cleaning everything, tired of mountains of clothes we don't wear, tired of trying to find places out of site for everything, so I started purging.

There are many reasons why minimalism appeals to me. Most important is I want my time back. I want to be able to play more with H and relax more instead of clean after she has laid down for a nap or for the night. I also want to save money by not wanting so much of what I don't need. Buying less of what is not needed will free up money for H's college fund, for us to go on vacations and see this great nation we serve.

With a 2 year old and a husband who is motivated to see everything in this state before we move again, its hard to get much done. I do most of my decluttering when J is TDY and H is asleep. It is taking a while but little by little I am getting rid of stuff we don't need. I am determined to fit everything we need to be happy in this house and to not ever need more square footage again. Because I just flat out don't want to clean it.

So here are some of my favorite posts I have pinned on minimalism.

Five Easy Strategies for the Beginning Minimalist — Compulsively Quirky:

50 Things to Throw Out Now (and How to Dispose of Them):

Why Minimalism is Just the Beginning:

How to Shop Like a Minimalist - 12 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying | minimalism, simple living:

This is EXACTLY what im going for. Limit the decision-making. the Minimalist Meal Plan-One Little Minute Blog:

Fashion File: Closet Staples that Make a Great Wardrobe...:

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

What I Learned From Our First PCS

#1 Get excited.

For a brief history, J is an AGR in the reserves and spent the first 10 years of his AF career (and first 7 years of our marriage) in our home town. Typically reserve members do not have to relocate. J's unit was deactivated so we were faced with making the choice to PCS or J getting out. Maybe I will share what made us ultimately move in a later post :) So, thinking about moving away for the first time with an 18 month old had me in a bundle of nerves to say the least.

It helped a lot to start researching. Finding things to do and explore in our new area got me excited. I started to look at the move as an adventure instead of the end of the world.

#2 Stay ahead of the game.

Prepare the best you can. Have you ever heard of the saying "hurry up and wait"? That's a PCS summed up in a nutshell. 

#3 Plan for the unexpected.

If something could go wrong, it will. Fix the issue, let it go, and move forward.

#4 Do a partial move. 

We have a trailer so we moved some big items that did not really need packing on it. If you weigh in before you load and then after you load it you will get paid per weight to move your own stuff. We did that and then let the company they contracted come pack up the rest of the house do all the hard work. By moving the washer, dryer, ATV's, and a few other bulk items we were able to make enough to make up for me not working for a bit.  

#5 Get out into the community as soon as possible.

I was able to land a job within 2 weeks of moving to Georgia. It helped to take my mind off the fact that for the first time in my life I just moved nearly 1,000 miles away for everyone and everything I ever knew. For some people, going out and getting a job may not be your thing. Get involved in volunteering or find a local mom's meet. Just sit down the unpacking and get out of the house.

#6 Dive into your faith.

I didn't find a church right away. I went to the base chapel but they don't have a steady nursery worker so you can imagine how that turned out. The next church I went to turned out to be the best church I have ever been to. So much so that I sometimes worry about finding a church as great when we move again.

#7 It's not goodbye forever.

 This isn't the old times. Just because you far far away from those you love, doesn't mean that you are disconnected. With Facebook, Twitter, Texting, and phone there isn't much I that I miss.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Weekend Wrap Up

As far as exciting goes, this weekend was pretty lame. I did get a lot done on a couple of my main life goals right now. J is TDY this weekend so we didn't go see anything special. To be honest, its so hot here right now I'm not sure what we will be doing over the next several weeks that he is home. Most exploring we do involves the great outdoors.

I got a lot done as far as simplifying my life. I started Saturday morning with unsubscribing from junk emails. It's amazing how fast those things pile up. While H was napping I started in my home office area. It's usually the last thing I touch as far as cleaning. It got to be overwhelming at some point because H goes in with me and turns into the Tasmanian devil. She loved to pound on my computer and go through drawers pulling out papers. I just tend to avoid it when she is awake. J and I share a room to keep our computers and stuff. He has a desk and a bookshelf and I have a desk and bookshelf. We have found that it is best this way. Now, I am a little ashamed to show this before and after.

I armed myself with a trashcan, a shredder, a laundry basket, and a duster, and got to work. First, with one quick sweep, I put everything that did not belong in the room into the laundry basket. Then I started on the piles of paperwork. I shredded anything that needed to be shredded and threw away anything that needed to be thrown away. I put disc's in the computer to identify what they were and labeled them correctly. Once all the surfaces were cleaned up I dusted and started making everything left over a space. I still have some organizing I plan on doing with the bookshelf but H only naps for so long. 

The biggest of my life goals (and the one that is going the best right now) is diving deeper into a relationship with God. H loves church. She started talking about church last night and this morning she told me that we need to go more than once a week. This makes my heart so happy! Today's sermon was SO good. It was over the Holy Spirit. I got the church band's new CD and we jammed all the way home today. 

Over the last few months I have been consistently going to church, praying, reading the Bible. I still feel like I can improve the quality of my prayer so this weekend I started a prayer journal. I often come up with a loss of things to talk to God about so assigned each day with a topic. Of course, prayer time doesn't have to only be on the topic but it also assures me that I am not leaving something out that I feel I need to pray about. My weekly topics: Sunday- the church, the church family, and the church leaders. Monday - My work, the company, and my patients. Tuesday - H. Wednesday - J. Thursday - friends and family. Friday - Our country, our military and government. Saturday - the world and international issues. Once my prayer journal becomes a little more developed I would love to share it. I also recommitted to a new way of bible study. I was following study plans found on pinterest I want to kind of change direction. I am going to start reading the bible from front to back cover to cover. I also plan on copying it all down. Sort of like making my own study guide. 

And just for grins, here is a picture of my beautiful, sweet, funny baby girl!