Your kid isn’t cute

Okay, they are cute. But not always. Or at least…not always to everyone else. I will concede that sometimes it is funny when small just-learning-to-talk tots are sassy or misbehave in clever ways. But it isn’t always cute. 

Real life example: A couple of weeks ago, a very proud grandmother brought her just-turned-3-year-old to church with her. She allowed her to sit with the older kids on the other side of the church. Strike One. She isn’t old enough to sit without adult supervision, so she’s chatting and moving around and standing in the pew while the 10 year old’s are trying to contain her.  The worship team begins to sing a song and the tot stands up and begins jumping around. It’s a worshipful church where people DO jump up and down occasionally. But this isn’t one of those times. Tot is jumping around in circles and Grandmother is beaming with pride and videoing her. Strike two. Later it was posted on Facebook as “worship.” No, Grandma. That wasn’t worship. Strike 2.5. Later in the service, the same tot begins to wander around the sanctuary sitting with different people. She wanders over to my niece’s things and starts pulling out her snack and her toys. Grandmother is STILL beaming with pride that her little granddaughter is being so social. Strike THREE. No, Grandma. We’ve crossed the line from adorable to misbehaving. It is not adorable for you to allow your grandchild free reign of the sanctuary. Not everyone thinks this behavior is the cutest thing ever. At least I don’t. 

 

Let me help!

I’m 36 – not married and no kids. All of my friends have kids. That means there is no more of “Hey, let’s go to dinner tonight!” and a lot more of “let’s go to dinner next month, you name the date” and that is okay. My friends-with-kids are very busy and it is hard to get away. But here is what I want them to know:

-I love you. Your kids are an extension of you. I love them, too.

-When I text you to hang out, I fully realize that it won’t be like our past days of dinner and a movie. It will be in the form of me bringing pizza to your house and coloring with your kids, fill up their drinks for them, grab a second slice of pizza for them, wipe up that drink they spilled, and snuggle them while watching their favorite cartoon. Oh, and between all of that – you and I will get some talking in! All of that is okay. Remember my first bullet point?

-Yes, I still text you frequently and I may still email you. Maybe you reply and maybe you don’t. It’s okay. I know that you are, eventually, reading what I write and I know that you do care. It’s just hard to express when somebody has spilled their cereal on the floor the moment you were reading my text. 

-I know that you are busy and some days you want to escape. Let me help with that! I’d be more than happy to oblige if you texted me “I’m losing my mind. Can you come watch my kids for an hour?” or “please bring me coffee” or “I need an extra set of hands when I go grocery shopping tonight” I am happy to oblige!! I never offer those things because as a non-parent, I don’t want to accidentally offend you. I’m not insinuating that I could do a better job, I’m just saying that I love you and I want to help. 

Take advantage of your non-parent friends, moms!! We may not have our own children, but we are probably going to be excited for the opportunity to help you. Before you had kids, it was easy to surprise you. Bringing you a coffee at work was an easy way to brighten your day. Now that you’re a parent it is different. If I stop by your house unannounced with coffee – am I interrupting nap time? Are you cleaning up poo smeared on the wall and not at all wanting a visitor? Are YOU catching a precious nap? You see the difference. My desire to make your day brighter is still the same, but just how to do it is trickier. Help me help you!

 

 

Bible in 90 Days

I’ve created a sub-blog, if you will. It can be found here. I am going to start reading my 90 days bible again tomorrow and I always start with a notebook writing my thoughts down, but then I lose the notebook and then I lose my notes.  You’re welcome to follow along, or not. It will be more like reading the bible in 90-ish days. I believe the last time I did it, it took me 6 months instead of three. Oops. 

 

 

Nope

I never received the phone call. Monday has come and the office where I’d applied closed at 4:30PM – 15 minutes ago. It all seemed like it was coming together so perfectly that I feel quite stunned that I wasn’t chosen for the job.

But I wasn’t and so I am allowing myself to have an hour-long pity party.

I even cried a little bit and I’m not a crier. But that’s just between us, okay?

No phone call. Yet.

“We will make our decision on Friday or Monday.”

I clung to the “Friday” part of that sentence because I didn’t think that my anxiety could handle waiting over the weekend. But here I am…waiting over the weekend. I’ve decided to go ahead and tell the story.

Last August I took my niece to a street fair at our local theatre. Games, arts and crafts, and a sample class of the children’s acting troupe called Footlights. My niece has a huge imagination and I had often thought that she would really enjoy being part of Footlights (lots of theatre games and they meet for one hour every Saturday morning during the school year). She had the opportunity to participate in the sample class that day and man o’ man she was in her element. I decided then and there that I would put her in Footlights as her Christmas present. She enjoyed the first session of Footlights and decided to continue to the second session (each session is 10 weeks). This time, she opted for the Musical Theatre class. Over the summer, a different theatre in our town did a summer camp and at the end they put on the show Treasure Island. My mom knew how much my niece had missed Footlights, that she enrolled her. Their performances were 4:30PM and 7:30PM on Friday. I opted to just take the entire Friday off work rather than try and get off early.

That Friday morning, I was lounging around drinking coffee and decided to read the newspaper. In the newspaper was a job posting for a company well-known for being a great place to work.  In order to apply, you had to apply through the unemployment office. I thought, well, I’m off work so I might as well apply. I had a lot of things planned for that day and I just tacked this last errand onto the end of my list. I figured it should put me at the unemployment office around 2PM. While I was out and about, I just so happened to change my schedule up and decided to go apply for the job second instead of last. I got down there about 10:30AM and finished up about an hour later. As I was leaving the unemployment office, I realized that they closed at Noon on Fridays. Had I left it last, I wouldn’t have been able to apply.

A week later I received a phone call asking me to come in for an interview. They said “Can you come in at 3:45?” and I checked my schedule…I was scheduled to leave at 3:30PM. So I made it to the first interview. The next day, they called me for a second interview “Can you come in at 7:15AM?” Yes, I don’t have to be at work until 8:30AM.” This job is a dream job. The pay is about 6k more per year, they would pay 80% of my tuition for me to get my masters, they pay 100% of my insurance and I could retire with a full pension in 27 years. My mom told me not to get my hopes up – but I am getting my hopes up. I realize that I may not be chosen for the job, but such an insignificant event a year ago has resulted in me being here today – waiting for the phone call. Bottom line is that if we hadn’t gone to the street fair last year, I wouldn’t be in the running for this job. It is all so serendipitous that it would be a shame if I didn’t get the job.

Please feel free to send prayers up about this job. I want it.

Edited to add:

On Thursday my phone that I had been using messed up and I switched back to my iPhone. I just realized today (Saturday) that my voice mail did not remain set up. In other words, had they called me yesterday they couldn’t have left a voice mail. (I had no missed calls, so I know they didn’t call). Is this another It just so happened? Did they need to wait until Monday to call me so that my voice mail would be operational? We will see. Pray saints, pray.

Butterfly Effect

I’ve been awake and out of bed since 5:20AM. Today could be a very big day for me. A whole lot of things have seemingly “just so happened” to fall into place and as a coworker said “God likes to work in the ‘it just so happened'” It has really been the “butterfly effect” and it started almost exactly one year ago (next weekend will be one year since the “butterfly” flapped his wings and kicked this whole thing off)

If that paragraph is confusing, that is how my entire week has been and it all comes down to today (Or maybe Monday, but probably today). I would provide more information…but I need to wait before posting details. I just wanted to share to all three people who read this that I am awake, anxious, and I will be keeping my phone nearby all day long. And if this all ends like I hope…it is going to be one heck of a story.

Plexus Update

A week after my initial post about beginning Plexus, I have an update for you.

I only took it one day.

I received it in the mail and took the accelerator pill and the Plexus Slim drink (It is a mix that goes into your water) the following morning. I made a point to eat a regular breakfast and lunch because I wanted to know how this would affect me. Breakfast was eggs and a slice of wheat bread and I don’t remember what lunch was, but it was something normal and from home – not fast food. I had coffee with breakfast (with cream and no sugar) and a lot of water. Throughout the day, I slowly felt worse and worse until the end of my workday rolled around and I had a pounding headache and a large amount of “brain fog.” I was told this was my body detoxing, but since I didn’t alter my diet with the exception of drinking more water, I can’t imagine what or how I was detoxing. I decided that I didn’t trust the pills or drink and vowed to never take anymore.

I’ve decided that I prefer to do things the normal way. Eat lots of vegetables, some fruits, very little sugar and processed foods, take a multi-vitamin and keep my eating out to a minimum. Since it is Saturday I was able to hit up the farmer’s market this morning. Dinner will be asparagus, broccoli, green beans, corn on the cob, some ham slices and cheese. All of that is from local farmers except the cheese. Yum!!

Plexus

I’ve never taken a diet pill. I’ve never taken part of a diet that was more than “eat more vegetables and less junk food”…until now. Or not now, I only ordered it last night. I’m going to try Plexus. I know a few people who sell it and I’ve researched it online – the success stories I keep reading go deeper than weight loss. People talking about energy, feeling more clear-headed, and many other general aches and pains disappearing. Since I am now 36 years old – I hate to admit it, but I am feeling more aches and pains lately. I’d like to lose 30-40 pounds as well, but it is the other things that I am most interested in. The downside is that Plexus is quite expensive – but I’m going to give it a try. If it really is as fantastic as what I’ve read…I think it’d be worth it. I only bought a 7 day supply, so we’ll see how that goes.

Have you taken Plexus? What did you think?

Money

I’d like to create a job for myself where I help people with their budgets. I have seen this scenario far too many times:

Family of four – mom, dad, older child, and new baby. Mom has been a stay-at-home mom and now that the baby is getting a bit older (Usually getting close to a year old), mom and dad decide that she is going to need to get a paying job. So, mom gets a part-time job and she’s bringing home, let’s say, $800 a month. The parents have to pay some of that towards a babysitter, but still bringing home $500 extra per month and they rejoice. They start eating out a bit more. Get cable, because that was a luxury they did not indulge in before. And in a couple of months…they buy a new (probably used) car. Here we are, 6 months after the mom getting a part-time job and she is working so that they can have a few more dinners out, cable, a new car, and a babysitter. They find themselves at the same level of broke-ness as before and cannot put a finger on why. 

Another scenario that I’ve watched play out over Facebook the last few weeks:

Mom, dad, and one child are the characters in this story. Mom and dad only plan on having one child (who is now in elementary school) and they both work full-time. Just after their baby was born, they moved into a very nice (but regular-sized) 3BR 2 bath house. It had a pool and neighbors that they loved with lots of wide-open space for the boy to play. As the years have passed both parents have moved ahead in their careers, they now make significantly more money then before. So they’ve moved into a much larger home. But…why? They aren’t having more children, so “more room” isn’t really necessary. They had a beautiful home before with good neighbors. Why not stay there, pay that house off, and have a paid off mortgage by age 40?

I work at a bank is this happens far more than it should:

Families don’t really keep that close of an eye on their checking account. They overdraw a few times per month. With overdraft charges being nearly $40 per item these days – overdrawing 4 times a month is $160!! Does anybody really have that sort of money to just give up to their bank? 

Another scenario:

I see this one at tax refund time. Some people really get a LOT of money back. Sometimes they get $10,000+. They get their checks and they want to cash them. I hear them talking about their plans – new furniture, a new TV, etc. All fine expenses if these were not the same people for the remaining 11 months of the year who have multiple overdraft charges per month. These are the people I want to reach the most. They will blow through this $10,000+ so fast it is alarming. I want to tell these families to spread this money out over the year instead of spending it all at one time. A $10,000 tax return would equal $833 extra per month!! Why not pay your house payment/rent for the year. (The whole YEAR!) Or continue your bills as normal and let this money just be extra income all year long and improve your lifestyle. I see these families, though. They will spend $10,000+ in 3 or 4 weeks and then struggle to pay their bills for the rest of the year.  

These are just some financial rants that I’ve had for awhile and wanted to tell someone. I encourage you to examine your finances. Are you struggling? Where can you make cuts? You might say “nowhere” but it probably isn’t true. I felt that way until recently. I decided to give up my iPhone and go back to a “dumb phone” and my cell phone bill is now $70 less per month. I still own the iPhone and so use it when I am on wi-fi. Sure, I can’t check Facebook at red lights anymore, but I think I can deal with that. I don’t have cable, but I know that it can easily run $150/mo. Netflix is $8.23/mo and your local library has DVDs you can rent for free. Call your providers and tell them you want to cancel – they will likely offer you a better deal. 

I wanted to offer a different spin on “how to cut back” that is more than just “stop going to Starbucks every day” because honestly…who is really doing that? Does someone really need to have that pointed out if they are struggling with money? I drink Starbucks once every couple of months.  So my advice summed up is this: 1. Do you really need a big house? Can you downsize? The kids don’t REALLY need a playroom and it is okay if they need to share a room for the sake of financial sanity. 2. Keep an eye on your checking account. Get internet banking, create a bills calendar and write everything down. Stop overdrawing even if it means eating Ramen noodles for dinner once a week. 3. Ditch cable and your iPhone if you are really struggling. Netflix is cool! 

 

Tagged , , , ,

Revolution

Every time I pay my cell phone bill, I die a little on the inside. I have an iPhone and I really like it. Except I do not like paying $120 a month for my cell phone. I see the $50 for my monthly data plan on the statement and cringe as I realize that it costs me $4/mo more than my home internet. I have internet at work and I have internet at home. Why am I paying $50 a month so that I can also have internet…where? In line at the grocery? Waiting at stop lights? When I am at dinner with friends or family and feeling bored? Admittedly, I will miss having immediate access to Hopstop when I am in New York – but as I am only there 5 days per year, I feel certain that I can work around that.

Can I do it?  Can I declare a revolution and turn my back on smartphones? That isn’t as easy as it seems, since the one feature I am unwilling to give up is a Qwerty keypad. Can you even imagine having to text the non-qwerty keypad way again? While I was once quite speedy, I don’t intend on reverting quite that far. Verizon no longer sells a dumb-phone that also has qwerty keypads and this is probably the reason.  I’m in a contract until October 2015 – after that…I may even ditch the contract phone and move over to Straight Talk. Does anyone have any experience with them?

Will I really find myself all that disconnected? I’ll still have a phone, I’ll still have my iPhone for use on wifi, and I have a Kindle which also can connect to wifi. OH, and I have a laptop with internet access at home and I have internet access at work.

I think I’ll be okay.

Have you ever considered ditching the smartphone?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.