Sunday, July 27, 2008

Holy Ground, Daddy Time, and Anniversary Celebration

Holy Ground, Daddy Time, and Anniversary Celebration are three different events that occurred this weekend, each deserving of its own blog post, but all rolled into one for simplicity's sake!

Holy Ground

On Friday, Madalyn and I had the opportunity to ride with my parents up to Evart, MI, the home of Spring Hill Camp. We were going to pick up my brother who had spent a week there for a staff program. Spring Hill is one of my favorite, no, make that my favorite place in the world. I know that's saying a lot. It means a lot. This camp is where I attended every summer since age eight. It's where I first heard the Gospel and committed my life to Christ in a tiny little cabin by the lake. I still know the very spot. I still remember the very moment. I attended their teen programs in high school and graduated to working on staff. I spent four or five summers doing every thing from cleaning toilets to counseling elementary, junior high, and high school kids.

My brother's counselor gave us a golf-cart tour around the camp. A lot has changed. But the message, the heart, the energy, the presence of God is the same. I saw the spot where I first talked to God as an eight year old. We went past "Canoe Beach" where I heard and saw God more clearly than any other time in my life while sitting on a rock during a summer on staff. My heart was so overwhelmed to be there. I conned most of my good friends into working with me during me high school and college years. If you are in the Michigan area, I greatly encourage you to check out Spring Hill. Not only do they have the most rockin', beautiful summer camp you could possibly send your kids to, they also have family camp, parent-child retreats, women's retreats and much more. I couldn't be more grateful for the camp's mission and heart; I am indebted to the individuals who dedicate their lives to such a powerful mission. Below is a picture of Madalyn's first visit to Spring Hill, walking my Holy Ground. She loved it.

Here are a few other stock photos from Spring Hill's website. They are ultra-creative in their housing, as you can see!

Daddy Time

Dan is such a good daddy. I just wanted to state that for the record. On Saturday, when lawn-mowing, and refrigerator-fixing were calling, he took the time to take Maddy for a long bike ride, spend an hour doing water-color painting, and wrestle on the floor with his daughter. She soaked in every second, often stopping to say, "Oh, Daddy! I love you so much!" Where would we be without our Daddy?

Anniversary Celebration

On Tuesday, July 29th, Dan and I will have been married for three years. They have been three challenging, yet very beautiful years. We got off to a fast start when I discovered I was pregnant with Maddy a month after we said "I do", but God has been faithful to see us through this crazy adventure. Last night we celebrated by going to dinner at Andiamo restaurant in St. Clair Shores. My uncle loaned us his Mustang for the night, which made Dan's whole weekend :). We had a yummy dinner, and then cruised around, ending up in downtown Grosse Pointe (which I loved!) for coffee. What an awesome night.

Hope your weekend was great as well!


Friday, July 25, 2008

OUTRAGEOUS Friday: Vacuum Edition

So I'm sure you've gathered by now that Dan and I are striving to be careful and purposeful in the purchases we make. I try to look for good deals. We are careful not to blow money on frivolous things (at least we try!) Today we needed new vacuum bags for our Oreck, a gift from Dan's parents for our wedding shower. Here's the outrageous and slightly embarrassing part: I've never had to buy bags for it before! The vacuum came with a few and we have all hardwood floors, so what can I say? We will have been married for three years at the end of this month, and somehow we've stretched the bags that far! Scary, huh?

I asked Dan to stop on the way home from work since there is an Oreck store by his building. He picked up a pack for our upright and our Oreck handheld canister vac. Dan comes home and hands me a bag with the Oreck upright bags (8 pack), Oreck handheld pack (12 pack), a canister of deodorizing powder, Oreck glass and window cleaner, and a lambswool duster. Over-achieving husband? Picked up some cleaning supplies as a little "I love you" for his wife?

NOPE. Those other items were thrown in for "free" when the store charged Dan $52.00 for the two packs of bags!!! Are you kidding me?? Couldn't I get a whole new VACUUM (albeit a cheap one) for that?? Have you ever heard of such a thing?

Have a great weekend!



Thursday, July 24, 2008

It's Summertime...And The Living Is Easy...

Our little town has concerts in the park every Thursday night. They are free, fun, and relaxing. A man makes balloon animals for all the children at no charge. Two pizza places sell food on the cheap. Tonight there was face painting, and we're not talking the "paint a sunshine on my cheek" kind, but rather the work-of-art, take-a-picture, that-looks-like-it-was-airbrushed kind. The woman doing the painting was truly an artist. If I thought Madalyn would sit beyond the first brush stroke, I would have had her painted up!

It was the essence of summer for our family: walk down to the little park in the village from our home, eat pizza, watch Madalyn interact with other children, enjoy each other.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A "Prime" Time to Make A Purchase!

Anyone ever heard of a little site called Anyone? Anyone?

Oh, you have? Then you know you can buy just about anything there. Shoes? Check. Beauty products? Check. Laundry soap? Alright, you get the picture.

One of my favorite, daily-read blogs is Mir, the author, is hilarious and has amazing deals posted every day. Plus, she calls her readers "pretty" quite often which, as it turns out, always brightens up my day.

Today I read one of her posts about a great little deal is running now. Sign up for a free one month trial period of a membership in Amazon Prime, and you will get free two day shipping on mucho item-o's PLUS ten free dollars applied to your account. The Amazon Prime service costs $79.00 annually and allows you to get the free two day shipping year round, plus other fancy benefits. I, however, do not buy neeeaarrrlly enough to justify such a fee. Soo...
  • I signed up.
  • I bought Madalyn "The Jesus Storybook Bible," which I have been wanting very much to purchase for her since reading about it here.
  • I payed $1.55 out the door for the above item.
  • I promptly cancelled my free one month trial. Otherwise I will without doubt forget and a $79.00 charge will show up on my bank statement, inducing much frustration and anger with my forgetfulness,until I decide that I might as well take advantage of the free shipping I've just unwittingly purchased and thus will spend more money. See, vicious cycle. So I just cancelled it immediately.

Anyways, let me know if you join and what you decide to spend your $10.00 on! You could buy socks, movies, music, popcorn, Kashi cereal...OR, don't forget a certain birthday that is JUST around the corner :)! Hehehe...just joking, of course. Kinda.



Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Knock On The Door...

Wait, did I title this entry "A Knock On The Door"? Turns out it should have been "A Ring Of The Doorbell." That's a more accurate description of what happened yesterday as I was trying to put my two year old down for a nap. Two women stood waiting on my front porch after ringing the all-offending noise to any parent trying to get their child to sleep.

It doesn't start the encounter off on the right foot.

I opened the door, keeping the screen shut as I always do when strangers present themselves on my front step. "Hello?"

"Oh my, we've been admiring this beautiful landscaping and porch out here! It's just lovely! It's new, isn't it?"

Alright, warming up slightly here.

"Yes, actually, my husband did it."

"Your husband??!! Oh, my, well we should hire him out, shouldn't we? Just amazing."

Loving the warm fuzzies. But, um, why are you here? I transition from warming up to being wary of all this warming up.

I look at the ladies pointedly, waiting them to break out of their complimentary streak.

"O-kay, well, anyways, we are going from door, encouraging the community. We know that these are tough economic times. Specifically for husbands and wives, sometimes when things get strained financially, a toll can be taken on the marriage. We would just like to share a Scripture verse to encourage you."

I'm a little skeptical, but I agree with everything they just said. I think it's great that someone would take the initiative to encourage families and aim to strengthen marriages. I'm tracking so far. Still, is there any hidden agenda?

"So, why are you doing this?"

"Oh, we're just Christians from the community, wanting to encourage."

"What church are you from?"

She looks for the Scripture. "We're from the Oxford Kingdom Hall of Jehovah Witnesses"


"You know what, my husband and I are Christians, so we're actually all set!"

Wow, did that just come out of my mouth? We're all set?? Nice one, Laura.

"Can I just share this verse with you? It's from Philippians."

How can I argue with Philippians? That's clearly not any sort of weird, cultish, made-up book of the Bible.

"Ah, here it is: Philippians 2:4 "Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." So just remember, if things are tough, keep putting each other before yourselves. That's it! Beautiful landscaping, just beautiful!"

The ladies walk back down the path, murmuring to each other over the planting, stopping to admire a line of hostas.

I'm trying to take in what just happened. No pamphlets were given. Nothing was said that I disagreed with. I certainly didn't take any great advantage of an opportunity to share my faith ("We're all set!").

What do you think? How do you react when Jehovah Witnesses come knockin'? Do you think, as Christians, door to door evangelism is effective or useful? What could I have said that was better than "We're all set" while still being loving and non-confrontational? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Beautiful Friday Night

Two thirds of the Carney family were asleep by 9:00pm (well, one more manly counterpart went under on the couch during "Family Movie Night" around 8:30pm and the other more sticky, chubby, noisy counterpart loudly sang every song she could think of and banged her legs against her crib slates until around 10:00pm).

Still, I had time on my hands.

It turned out to be a beautiful night when I found these two precious sites.

One contains handmade jewelry by a woman with a touching story. Certain friends who are expecting babies and a mere month away from their birthdays should take a little peek and then leave a comment about anything they like.

The other reflected back my own heart these days: being a stay-at-home mom, being "good enough" instead of supermom, and living a healthier, organic, less costly lifestyle.

Hope you had a peaceful evening as well.



BONUS, a beautiful site with whimsical children's art. I found this link at Simple Mom, who had the idea of purchasing a piece of art for each of her children; something that truly captures who they are and reflects their personality. I love the concept.

Outrageous Friday: God's Pharmacy?

I recently found a link that displayed a "theory" called "God's Pharmacy." The gist of this idea is that foods look like the human body parts they protect and nourish. I've done absolutely NO background research in this matter so I don't know if there is a shred of truth to it, but it makes for entertaining reading.

Let me know what you think and have a GREAT WEEKEND!



A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye… and YES, science now shows carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.

A Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart has four chambers and is red. All of the research shows tomatoes are loaded with lycopene and are indeed pure heart and blood food.

Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today sh ow s grape s are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.

Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums.Even the wrinkles or folds on the nut are just like the neo-cortex. We now know walnuts help develop more than three (3) dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.

Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.

Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and many more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don't have enough sodium in your diet, the body pulls it from the bones, thus making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

Avocados, Eggplant and Pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female - they look just like these organs. Today's research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight, and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? It takes exactly nine (9) months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them)

Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the mobility of male sperm and increase the numbers of Sperm as well to overcome male sterility.

Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.

Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries.

Oranges, Grapefruits, and other Citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

Onions look like the body's cells. Today's research shows onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells. They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes. A working companion, Garlic, also helps eliminate waste materials and dangerous free radicals from the body.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Day @ The Beach...

This morning I had the idea to take Madalyn to the beach, as it is supposed to be in the upwards of 90 degrees today. So I proposed the idea and it was a big hit: she ran around the house singing "The beach! The beach! The beach! We're going to the beach, the beach, the beach!" (some of you may recognize that as a Wonderpets song :). We suited up, lotioned up, and I packed a picnic lunch. We got to the beach a little after noon, so I figured we'd start with the lunch.

"I not hungry, Mama. You're not hungry, Mama." Only problem was that I was.

"Let's just sit at a picnic table and eat, Maddy, then we can go play!"


Alright. We'll just go down to the sand, she can play, and I'll sit on my towel and eat my PB & J.

Maddy goes to play in the water. Comes back one minute and five seconds later.

"Mommy? I'm hungry."

"O-kay, here, let's eat our sandwiches on the towel."

"No, Mommy, I want a picnic lunch. Eat at picnic table."

Wow. So we hiked back up to the picnic tables (when I say "hiked back up" I mean walked up a few dozen stairs in a very steep hill to the picnic tables).

I pick a picnic table in the shade. Did I mention it's 90 degrees?

"No, Mommy, picnic lunch there." Madalyn points to a pavilion with 30 plus senior citizens having a banquet of some sort.
"Madalyn, there's a party under the pavilion today. We can't sit there."
"Don't worry, Mama, it's fine. We go to the party."
Maddy heads over. I have to quickly put everything down on the table and run after her.

She finally agrees to sit and eat lunch. She snacks happily for three minutes.

"All done, Mama, I go play."
"No, Madalyn, you need to take some more bites before we go back to the beach."
Maddy just takes herself down to the beach. More running. More redirecting. She eats one more bite. We head down to the beach.

Play for eight minutes.

"All done, Mama, we go play." Maddy is now referring to the play structure back up by the picnic tables. I do everything I can to convince her to play in the water. I am so hot. It's 90 degrees.

We play motor boat twice and go for a 30 second walk to see some seaweed.

"All done! I all done in the water; I go play!"

Crying. Parents watching. We pack up.

We climb up the stairs. My suit is virtually dry and I'm sweating by the time we reach the top. Maddy points to the bath house.
"Mama, I go put my poo poos in the potty." Maddy is not potty trained yet, so I jump at the opportunity. In we go. I take off her swim dipe. Take off her suit.

"O-kay, let's sit on the potty."
"No, Mama, I not sit. I just change my diapee."

Maddy likes the way her voice echoes in the bathroom as I struggle to get a new swim dipe and her cover up on.

We head over to the play structure. She wants to swing, then she doesn't. She wants me to go down the "big, big" slide with her. She is getting increasingly cranky. I finally decide it's time to call it quits. We've been at the beach a little over an hour. I gather up towels, our bag, her Nemo floaty, her pail with all the sand toys.

"Come on, Maddy, it's time to go."

Runs away. I have to grab her under one arm and carry her to the car. Refuses to get in her car seat. Gets a spanking at this point in the car. I'm so hot. So frustrated. I don't like giving her spankings (I'm a time-out Mommy), but I don't know what else to do at this point.

I love this girl with my whole heart. But we arrive at home, go in the house, the swim dipe and cover up came off, she has the fastest bath of her life, is put in dry clean clothes, given a kiss on the cheek and put into her crib for a nap.

Ten minutes later, she's sound asleep.

Anyone with any toddler wisdom, tips, resources....HELP!



Trying Out!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Scrapbook Guilt, Anyone?

Anyone else have an extreme case of scrapbook guilt? You have all those pictures piled up (or worse, just stored on your computer and never printed!). Maybe you have a scrapbook started. You have good intentions. But finding the time seems impossible. Not to mention the artistic pressure! The markers! The stickers! The fancy hole punches!

I'm already feeling exhausted!

My "Parents" magazine came today and included some links for Virtual Scrapbooking...doing all the work on the computer with "no glue or fancy scissors required." Hmmm...I still have an element of parent-guilt, but could these be the compromise I've been needing? Still get heartfelt projects without brads and acid-free paper?

My previous posting shows a little experiment with The site is SUPER user friendly, although they are super sneaky in that you can only print your creations if you join and pay a membership fee. They are free to blog, however. And there is a free 14 day trial period, but I am wary of trial periods these days. Ever since I signed up for the free month at and forgot to cancel. Grrr...$10.00 charge. Anyways...

Anyone have any success with digital scrapbooking? Let me know your secrets :). Below are the sites "Parents" recommends.

Trying Out!

Click to play Creation
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox scrapbook

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Deal Finding Matriarch...

I know I have been on a little journey to frugality (is that a word?)lately, and it has been so rewarding. But most of all: FUN.

I realized today, however, that I cannot compete with my Gram.

This is true on so many levels. Read: Gram is in her seventies yet goes to Curves every morning, walks with my Grandpa several times a week at various malls (I think they have a schedule: Monday: Sommerset, Wednesday: Great Lakes, or something like that!), and gets down on her hands and knees to scrub her own house and that of various family members. She belongs to an investment club, a bridge club, and goes out with good friends every Friday night. She hosts huge family dinners for 40 plus people and cooks up a storm. I often joke that she has a busier social life than I have.

Only I'm really not joking because it is completely true.

All of these reasons are why I hope to age every bit as negligibly as my Gram. But now I've found a new standard to strive for and it is this: she is the thriftiest person I know.

My Grandpa (or "Pa" as we call him) always teases her and says, "Once poor, always poor", referencing her childhood, which was apparently quite basic. They now live in a beautiful house and take trips to Brazil, Puerto Rico, Scotland (did I mention they travel around the world? No? Chalk that up as well!), so that tells you that they are certainly not poor.

But Gram has been coupon-clipping since before it was trendy. My cousins love to tell stories about how she would take them to see movies, stashing cans full of pop and snacks in her over-sized purse. They were always embarrassed to open pop cans in a quiet theater of movie-watchers!

I saw Gram today at a family party and the first thing she said to me, with a gleam in her eye, was: "So, I hear you've been clipping coupons! It's fun, isn't it?". Then, as if to show me she still has one-up on me, she told me about an amazing deal. The restaurant "Andiamo" is usually too rich for Gram and my blood, but, as you see, the below offer cuts it down to size. Think of Gram if you use it. And remember, with a little thriftiness and some wise thinking, you'll be traveling the world at 70 as well.

**Here is the link** Have fun!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

OUTRAGEOUS FRIDAY: Free Dinner and a Slurpee!

Some of you may know that today is Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-Fil-A! Simply dress like a cow "from head to hoof" for a free combo meal! If you are more half-hearted about the cow ensemble (say, the equivalent of a black spot painted on one cheek), that's worth a free entree. Visit this link for some great examples of how to achieve an authentic cow look :).

But why hold back? Pull out your cow suits (you know you got 'em) and get free dinner tonight! If you do, make sure to send me pictures :)!

But what about dessert? Well, today's date of 07-11 inspired the local chain of convenience stores to offer FREE SLURPEE'S for one day only! And who, may I ask, does not love a slurpee?

Thanks to More Than Enough and The Centsible Sawyer for these great tips!

Enjoy your weekend, you slurpee-drinking, chicken-eating, cow-costume wearing friends!



Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Little Rooster Will Brighten Up Your Day...

Yesterday night was a bit long and hard and exhausting. I won't get into the whole story because, well, it's long and hard and exhausting. But I will say that I'm thankful for peace.

Growing up in the the church, I learned that God will bring "peace that surpasses understanding" during hard times. I took that to mean I shouldn't experience conflict, frustration, or unrest during difficult situations. That feels heavy, because I do feel those ways. Am I not "trusting" God enough? Am I not close enough to Him? But last night I felt a tired, still conflicted, still disappointed peace. And it hit me: It's not so much that I will exist in a zen-like state of no frustration or worry. It's more like I will feel a cool breeze pick up the leaves on a tree, I'll see small mercies in the people I love and I'll feel a deep, deep rooted sense of...

"It's going to be o-kay. I've already mapped this out."

Then I might go back to sadness and that's o-kay. Or I might stumble across a rooster for sale, which, in my experience, helps significantly. Let me explain.

As Dan read Madalyn a goodnight story, I absently flipped through our "Oxford Advertiser" looking for garage sales, etc. I always read the "Pets" section because Dan and I talk from time to time about getting a dog. This is what I found instead:
needing good home, not meant for
food. $5.00. (phone number)
10am-5pm, Wed-Fri, 10am-3pm Sat.
That just made me smile. I love that there are specific hours when the rooster is available for showing. I love that he is $5.00. I love that he is not meant for food (umm, who eats rooster?)
Nothing like a rooster for sale to brighten up your day. Seems as though I saw traces of Heavenly humor right before me in black and white.
Ps. If you happen to be in the market for a rooster, by all means, let me know and I'll give you the specs! :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Take Yourself Out To Dinner!

You're so great. You've been working hard. Putting others before yourself. Watching what you eat and working out (you're looking good, by the way!) So why not treat yourself? Grab your significant other or best buddy, and head out for a good meal at a great restaurant.

Oh wait! Before you go, head on over to! Right now, their gift certificates (which are always crazy cheap) are even, um, crazier cheaper. I, for instance, just purchased a $10.00 gift certificate to our local Mexican joint, Casa Real, for $1.50. Here's how: enter code DELICIOUS as you checkout to take 50% off your order. I'm not going to lie, there are a limited amount of participating restaurants, but still a good sampling.

Enjoy your meal! You deserve it!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Where Have I Been?

With my beautiful family on a trip to Erie, PA (Dan's hometown), that's where! So sorry I didn't give any warning that I would be taking a blog break; at least one of you mentioned you missed "Outrageous Friday" last week (thanks, Bek!). You know how you make lists and think "these are the things I have to do (ie: pack, make snacks for trip, etc.)" and then have those extra things you would like to do if you have extra time? Well, updating my blog before we left unfortunately fell into the latter category.

We had such a good time.
Since my husband Dan has been working so hard at his new job, just having time together as a family felt like a luxury. We greatly enjoyed our car time together (it's a five hour + trip). We arrived at a cottage called "Goose Landing" that Dan's Aunt Jane rents for the entire family each year. It is situated right on Lake Erie and the first thing I do every year when we pull up is listen for the sound of the waves hitting the shore. I absolutely love that sound, and I can hear it the whole time I'm there. There is no better way to fall asleep! Here is the picture we take every year of everyone who visits:

I have been going to Erie for the 4th of July every year since Dan and I met back in 2003; this was my sixth trip! The Carney family is so loving, welcoming, and laid back (Carney extended family, I mean). Aunt Jane introduces Miyuki (Dan's brother Brian's wife) and I as her "nieces." Here is a pic of my beautiful sister-in-law and brother-in-law:

So we stayed at "Goose Landing" Thursday night through Saturday morning. We did a lot of this

And saw a few of these:

They all enjoyed Madalyn to pieces, but none quite as much as Dan's 91 year old Grandma. Maddy is her only great-grandchild. Madalyn calls her "G-G" for "Great-Grandma" and Gram couldn't take her eyes off of Madalyn. When Maddy crawled up on the couch, as shown here, to watch cartoons with her, it made Gram's entire trip:

On Saturday, we checked out of "Goose Landing" and went up the coast a little ways to a place called "Lakeview on the Lake." There Brian, Miyuki, Dan, Madalyn, and I enjoyed a BEAUTIFUL cottage called "Annie's Retreat" for our final night. The grounds of this motel/cottage business were absolutely breathtaking. They had Adirondack chairs set out in perfect view of the sunset, a great outdoor pool, volleyball nets, and a playground. Plus, plenty of wide open spaces for a toddler to run! Dan and I couldn't stop saying how perfect it was for vacationing with Maddy; far superior to being closed in at a hotel. We just enjoyed our time there so, so much.

Funny story: we ended up setting up Madalyn's pack-in-play in a large, room-like walk in closet off the master bathroom of "Annie's Retreat". It was a perfect spot where she could have her own space. However, I felt a pang of parent-guilt when Maddy pointed to a normal-sized closet in a different bathroom and said, "That's where Maddy takes a nap, Mama?" Poor child thinks sleeping in a closet is acceptable! :)
On Sunday, we visited some family of Dan's on his Mom's side, and then hit the Erie mall. We do this every year before we leave for home and here is why: Fourth-of-July sales meets no sales tax! That's right, no sales tax in PA! Thanks to all my new bargain-finding skills, I made out like a banshee. I got spa slippers at Bath & Body works for $1.50 (90% off!), a $2.50 body spray and a free lip product, Baby Gap pajamas for my nephew for $2.50 (regularly $22.00!), two shirts and a pair of leggings at Express for $9.71 (the shirts were originally $24.50 a piece and the leggings were $16.50!!), etc.! Let's just say it was a good thing we had Maddy with us or the bargain finding would have continued! Seriously, Baby Gap was offering an additional 40% off your entire purchase if you opened a card (right, my pjs would have been $1.50 instead!). But Maddy had reached her limits of shopping. So we piled in the car and headed home.
Happy. Rested. Closer. Thankful.
What a good time we had.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Rebekah just tagged me in bloggy world, so here goes!

1. What did you do 10 years ago?

In 2008, I was a sophomore in high school, just enjoying life with an incredible group of friends and a strong sense of purpose in my church youth group. I think we went on a mission trip to Mexico in 1998. I always spent my summers at Spring Hill Camp , working and having a ball. If you have children, you must send them. Whatever it takes. Maddy is already pre-registered for when she enters first grade. O-kay, not really

2. Five things from your 'to do' list?
  • Pack for our family trip to Erie, PA tomorrow.
  • Make yummy snack mix Dan must have when he travels.
  • Buy disposable wipes. I bought the disposable diapers today. Yes, even me, the die-hard cloth diaper user, will be taking the easy way out on vacation :). Although I did hate hate hate spending money on dipes today!
  • Take bags of clothes/ donation items to Salvation Army.
  • Repaint toenails!

3. Favorite snacks?

Not really a big snacker. I do like chips and salsa mixed with sour cream, cheese and crackers, and ice cream while watching t.v.! No, not all at the same time :)

4. What would you do if you were a millionaire?

You mean like if I hit the lottery?

Pay off all bills, debt, mortgage, etc, and then sit down with a financial planner (I'd want that money to last!). Then go with Dan and Maddy somewhere to process through and pray (and by "somewhere" I of course mean Hawaii). Take all my girlfriends on a big shopping spree :). I don't know after that, but aim to make a difference and live humbly. I would hope you wouldn't see any difference in who we are. Maybe just slightly cuter clothes and, 0-kay, maybe a bigger bathroom.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Isn't She Lovely?

Who, you ask? My beautiful wedding gown made her way out of her preservation box for a photo shoot. She will soon be up on Craigslist to bless another young bride and make us a few bucks and more storage space.

But my breath still catches when I see her. I tried many dresses on, but this one made me feel like a bride. I'm sure every girl says this, but I had never seen a more lovely gown. She is ivory with the richest-feeling material. Her bodice is fitted and garnished with delicate ivory and pink pearls. The skirt is gathered with clusters of beads.

She's beautiful. But really, has anyone heard of a daughter who actually wears her mother's gown one day? This beauty probably won't look the same twenty years from now, no matter how well "preserved" she is. My independent Maddy will want her own choice, I'm sure.

But I'll miss her.

Let me know if anyone you know is looking for a dress!