Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Right Time for a Budget Blog

I think I had my most successful grocery shopping experience ever today. For those of you experienced couponers this may not seem like much for you. This was huge for me, though. Check it out:I bought, 5 pounds of frozen chicken breasts, two butterflied porkchops, two pounds of ground chicken, 3 pounds of ground beef, a package of ground beef patties, a carton of eggs, 1/2 gallon of 2% milk, 1/2 gallon of whole milk, two 2 liters of soda, bagged salad, two cake mixes, 2 lbs of powdered sugar, muffin mix, cookie mix, 2 gerber microwavable meals, a bag of frozen peas, bread, hamburger buns, a can of campbells cream of celery, 2 wanchai ferry boxed meals, 2 macaroni grill boxed meals, 3 boxes of hamburger helper, 4 totinos pizzas, 2 cans of pillsbury cinnamon rolls, 2 gallons of apple juice, a large box of cinnamon toast crunch, a large box of Lucky Charms, Goldfish crackers, a bag of tortilla chips, a box of texas toast, margarine, and 2 pounds of lunch meat.

My total was $69.50, I saved 37% ($41.23)! I was totally excited about this. I actually wrote the blog below last night, as some people were asking about our budget etc... so I thought this was a great time to publish it:
You ever have those experiences where you wish you would have done something sooner? That's my life with a budget. I always thought a budget would restrict what and when we could buy what we wanted. Though it does dictate the "when" sometimes, I've found myself to be more liberated by our newly instituted budget, as opposed to bitter as I expected to be.
It's nice to know that when a bill comes the money already exists to pay for it. It's even nicer to see money go into our savings faithfully every month because it is written out in the budget to do so. What has been required of me is a little bit of time planning and figuring and a little bit of effort keeping on budget on our 'flexible expenses. I consider 'flexible expenses' to be those expenses that don't have a definite dollar amount. For example, our mortgage is exactly the same every month, it is not a flexible expense. Groceries, on the other hand, is a flexible expense. The amount of money I spend on groceries could become WAY out of hand (this has been proven, look at my last year's grocery bill... bleh) if I didn't set a maximum for myself. I set this maximum fairly low to make it challenging, yet attainable.
I've almost come to a place where I enjoy the challenge of grocery shopping. I'd be lying if I said there weren't times where I wished I could win a year of free groceries so I could buy whatever I wanted, but I make it work, and it works for us. Here are some things I've figured out:

1.) I grocery shop with cash. I take out bi-monthly a specific amount of money JUST for groceries. When the money runs out... we're out of luck until the next date to take money out. I can see the money leaving my hand this way, and it takes the guesswork out of using a debit card and having to 'keep track' of what is spent.

2.) Take note of this one folks, this is my number one tip. I meal plan. Before I grocery shop I make a trip to my kitchen with a spiral notebook. I look to see what I have on hand that allows me to make a meal with no purchase or a very small purchase. For example: I make a casserole out of a box of mac n' cheese, a can of cream of celery, peas, and a chicken breast. If I look and see that I have everything but the cream of celery, I add the cream of celery to my shopping list and I add chicken casserole to our meal plan. That meal then costs me out of pocket (for that two weeks worth of money) the cost of the soup. This prevents food from just sitting and going bad in our house, it frees up other money to buy "on sale" items to be used later (for a later meal plan), AND (and I love this one!), it makes deciding what to eat really, really easy. I look at my list through the next two weeks and see what I have to choose from. This is huge for me!

3.) I coupon. I'll be honest, growing up, coupons used to embarrass me. I hated when my mom used coupons. It made me feel poor. Now I realize poor people aren't the ones who use coupons, it's the ones who use their resources to try to gain wealth. I cut over $20 of coupons tonight, all of which I plan on using tomorrow. I'm going to save $20 on my grocery purchase just in printable coupons. (I have electronic coupons saved on my Kroger card.) Now, I'm not going to lie, I don't use coupons as often as I could. This set of coupons is way large for me. If I use one or two paper coupons a shopping trip it's big. But I save a great deal of money by:

4.) Shopping at Kroger (as opposed to Wal-Mart) and shopping the sale ad. My typical "Kroger savings" during each shopping trip is an average of 18%. I attain this by searching the sale ad, making a shopping list accordingly (that matches my meal plan), and sticking to it. I keep a running total in my head in the grocery store, and I have a maximum amount I'm allowed to spend while in there. (Which is about $30 less than the cash I have on hand. You always run into bread and milk kind of purchases that go bad or you run out of in the matter of two weeks.) When I reach my limit, I leave.

5.) I go alone. I make sure I ask Aaron if there is any particular meal he wants or any particular item to go on the list. He isn't so much the shopping problem. It is Bryton. If you see me in the store with Bryton, you'll know I'm not there for a big shopping trip. I have to be able to concentrate and focus and with a toddler aboard I can't do that as well. (He does get to go to the store, but to pick up a few things here and there. Milk, juice, bread, etc.) Also, he's figured out how to spot things he likes on the shelves and point and whine at them. That kills a shopping experience if I give in to him. When he's just a little older, I'll show him how to shop.

6.) I scour websites such as:
and occasionally
I usually find a lot of great deals on things besides just groceries. These resources have proven amazingly helpful for coupons and ideas. Several of these are blogs that put mine to shame!

7.) And lastly, I shop and look for coupons for other things besides just groceries. Just this week I:
-Saved 15% on Bryton's Easter outfit at Children's Place by finding a coupon on I saved $4.
-Saved $8.50 on admission at the Magic House in St. Louis by finding a coupon online for one free child's admission with a paid adult.
-Saved $3 off of our Red Lobster lunch on the same day with a coupon I'd found in the newspaper. (I paid the rest, including he tip, on a $25 gift card we had. The bill was $19.99 and the waitress earned a $5.01 tip!)
In one week I saved $15.50 on other items besides groceries!

So there you have it! I'm a long way from having this all figured out, but I can see that some things are working for me! This is just one (of hopefully many) perks I've already discovered from our plans of finishing the basement! (Which is leaking by the way. I guess a call to Woods is in order for tomorrow. Bleh.)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Watched the Olympics Lately

How about the commercials? I've seen both. I've cheered at the tv for the olympians. I've ooed and awwed at particular feats, but I've cried at several commercials throughout these Olympic games.
Yes, cried. If you are a mom, I'm guessing you have too. You may as well admit it.
The commercials I'm referring to is the Proctor Gamble commercials. Whoever does their marketing knows two things. 1.) Moms do much of the shopping and cleaning in their household. 2.) There is nothing this side of heaven more powerful than the love of a mother. I'm not kidding... these commercials prove it. Check out a few for yourself:
There are more on youtube, and to be honest, I couldn't find the best one. It's the one I'm really writing about. It says something to the effect of, "Is there anything better than being an Olympian? Actually, yes, there is. Being an Olympian's mom." If you aren't a parent you probably think that is the most ignorant thing you've ever heard. If you are a mom, it brings tears to your eyes.
I'd give up every achievement I've ever had to see my son experience it. I know now why parents want more for their kids than they do themselves. It's almost a selfish thing... we'd rather them have it than ourselves. I'd much rather watch my child win Olympic Gold than ever stand on that podium myself. I'd rather watch my child hit a home run, than have ever hit one myself. I would rather see my baby bring home straight A's, than to ever have had them myself. It's the love of a mother, and P & G have us figured out.
Not only that, but they are putting their money where their mouth is. Not only have they created the Procter and Gamble house in Vancouver (read about it, it's pretty amazing), but they've also taken care of the expenses of many Olympian mothers to get them there to experience the Olympics with their babies... pretty amazing.
Thanks P & G.

Another Way Kids are Good For Me

We've vowed (or, I've vowed for us) to get our rears off the couch and do something, as a family, as often as we can. This weekend we went to the Magic House in St. Louis. Here are some pictures:

B going down the slide at Jack and the Beanstalk.

B playing at the sand table.

Here's a family pic of us at the Magic house.

So, the experience was great. B was well behaved, he had a great time, and we did as well! It was nice to be there together as a family! Of course, though, I did not escape without a lesson learned. (Which is not a bad thing, but being a parent has taught me many, good and rewarding lessons about life.)
Lesson number 4,238 (since becoming a parent): Slow down.
Going into museums, or zoos, or amusement parks, or, well, just life in general, I am a "get'er doner" (I hate that phrase, but it fits here). I get in and get out... I do what there is to do and I check it off my list. I take my time enough to enjoy what I can, but I choose to experience a little bit of everything as opposed to a lot of something. In enters toddler and my experience changes drastically. B walks in and wants to take everything in... bubbles, amazing... balls, I'm never leaving, water... this is great. Things that would normally catch a glance of my eye absolutely intrigue and dazzle him. And, finally, God has slowed me down... and I enjoy it. I enjoy how much my son enjoys bubbles. I enjoy how much my son enjoys climbing a slide. The fact that we spent 3 hours, completely entertained, by a children's museum at the age of 15 months is amazing to me. He never fussed, never seemed bored, and there were still many things we couldn't do. I saw, and will probably remember, more about that museum because we went through it at a 15 month old pace as opposed to a 25 year old list maker's pace.
Thanks Bryton. You've already taught me more than you'll ever know. Love ya, Bubba.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Rant: Why You do the Self Check Out at Wal-Mart

Most of you who know me at all know that I don't shop at Wal-Mart all that much anymore. Contrary to their "Always low prices" slogan, I found out they are lying. Kroger has "always low prices", enough that I've saved almost $600 SO FAR on groceries this year. (Okay, so I'm watching what I buy anyway, but still, the difference is astronomical.)
Anyway, I DID go to Wal-Mart, I had a few things to pick up that I couldn't get at Kroger, and I had a coupon for free Excedrin (which we use a lot of), under $5.99. I know that Wal-Mart has a better selection of Excedrin than our Kroger, so I figured I'd get a bigger bottle, cheaper price, for a better deal with my coupon.
Now, here's the moral of the story, when I go to Wal-Mart I ALWAYS self check. Always. Maybe I'm anti-social. Maybe I'm self reliant. Who knows? All I know is that I always self check. That is, until yesterday. Yesterday I made the mistake of going through a check out line, thinking my coupon exchange would be easier. Boy was I wrong. My experience went something like this.
I got in the shortest line possible, behind the woman with the fewest items, hoping to get out quickly. (I had Bryton, and he'd just woken up from his nap at the sitter. It was 4:00 and he'd not eaten since 8:30. He was hungry and cranky about it.) The woman in front of me had about 10 - 15 things in her cart. No biggie. So, as she is checking out I'm putting my ten or so items on the belt. As I finished unloading my cart I noticed the cashier "inspecting" and commenting about every one of this woman's items. "Oh, I've not tried this... is it any good? Hmmm, really? Do we have it in orange? Wow, this looks interesting." I'm not kidding, not to mention my child is quite obviously becoming impatient, and I'm having to verbally tell him, "It's okay, we're hurrying, I know you're hungry," hoping the woman would get the hint. Then, as she announces the total after an insanely long period of time, (to check out 10 - 15 items, remember?) the woman purchasing the items decides she wants to add $40 to a gift card that already has $50 on it. No big deal, right? Nope, apparently it is. We had to call over every Wal-Mart employee to figure that one out. Another ten minutes later, and a withering 15 month old, and the woman had finally paid and was successfully moving her merchandise from the sack merry-go-round to her cart. Then, however, the cashier proceeded to explain to her why it was so difficult to add money to a gift card with an already existing balance.
And my child was crying. (If you're a mom, you understand the frustration. It took me 10 minutes to pick up all my items in Wal-Mart and get them to the cashier. It took me 20 minutes to check out. Seriously, keep reading.)
Then, as I finally get to the counter to pay (my money already out and in my hand, I knew within cents what my total would be... a new attribute that has come with my couponing life) the woman licks her hand, I'm not kidding, three of the five fingers on her right hand plunge right into her mouth and then proceed to open the bag on the sack merry-go-round, and then all of the food and products I was buying and would later be touching to unpack. I'm not a germ-a-phobe, but come on lady... seriously?
After inspecting and commenting on all of my items (keep in mind, Bryton is crying at this point, and I'm still trying to console him) I hand her my coupon (at this point my coupon is seeming to have cost me a lot) to which it takes her another 2 minutes to figure out how that works since the coupon wasn't for a "specific" total. Being I've done this several times, I told her that my excedrin cost 4.99, the coupon is for anything less than 5.99... which 4.99 was, so that my discount was 4.99. She apparently didn't believe me, because she felt the need to call over another employee who proceeded to tell her the exact same thing.
The total rang up, finally, I was .08 off of my total, I waited for my change, and I made a vow as I was frantically swerving my cart to try to cheer up my traumatized child that I would never give up my 'self-check' privileges again.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The First Memory

Ok, so I'm on this whole story kick with the Donald Miller book I'm reading. One of the stats that stuck with me through the book is how little of our lives we actually remember. So here it is... Kindergarten - 12th grade and the first memory I recollect of them all:

Kindergarten - The girl scout troop I was in took a train ride to Murphysboro, went to McDonalds, and rode the train back. I got to the station and was too scared to go, so I missed out. Monday at school a girl (who later became one of my best friends ;) ) had her toy out from her happy meal and when I asked to see it she said, "No, you should have gone with us." Two lessons: 1. Don't let fear keep you from doing something you want to do. 2. Happy Meal toys are sacred things and great bargaining tools.

1st Grade - I had headaches, a lot, so I took a lot of medicine at school for them. My teacher always had a big ole cup of lemon water that she drank all day, and one day she let me drink out of her lemon water to take my pills. I thought that was so cool then. Now I think it's kind of gross :)

2nd Grade - Full of memories. In short... I had the greatest teacher ever and missed the most amount of school ever due to sinus surgery (to try to fix the headaches) and tons of sickness. I did win a contest to go out to Pizza Hut with the teacher for lunch because I read the most book - it books. 241 to be exact... all chapter books :) Yep, I was that kid.

3rd Grade - McKinley School. Flooded basements and lunch in the library. 3 things to mention about 3rd grade: 1.) My mom brought Geiger's cupcakes to school for my birthday. Mrs. Rhoades asked if I knew what they did with cake at weddings. I said "no", so she showed me. :) Cake EVERYWHERE! 2.) I was a 50's girl with a poodle skirt for Halloween. Mom worked on that costume forever. I don't know if I remember it most because my mom stuffed my bra or because it was the one time in my life I wasn't a hippy or a clown. 3.) My first "training bra" was introduced and during the jump rope for heart event I was hit in the chest with a jump rope and the front snap quite noticeably popped open. Embarrassing.

4th Grade - Mrs. Woosley's class was the best class ever. Fun Friday's kept my life interesting. Cole and I dominated the learning games in the morning, we all watched movies in the afternoon and ate Mark's bakery candy that we bought during lunch. Oh, and we had store. Oh yeah, it was awesome. And Johnny Million feel out of his desk one day and said, "How does someone fall out of a stationary chair." We thought it was hilarious.

5th Grade - Big year for me, diagnosis of migraines, meds to prevent and treat, and treatments of biofeedback.

6th Grade - Got a C on my first test ever, and I've never been the same. Geometry in Ms. Ginn's class kicked my rear.

7th Grade - Started with my first "real" boyfriend. We actually saw each other outside of school haha. Casey moved... was heartbroken :(

8th Grade - Found Jesus right after 8th grade year! Shawn File's first class ever, yearbook club, voted friendliest of the 8th grade class, finally felt like I was making good friends in my life.

Freshman Year - A girl's freshman year goes down in history. New freedoms, football games, wearing jerseys (one of my favorite parts), going out in cars with friends. Went on my first mission trip!

Sophomore Year - Another big year, got my license and my step-dad became my real dad through adoption. Felt like I'd never be wanted by anyone since my real dad gave me up so easily. God and great friends brought me through.

Junior Year - I'd be lying if I didn't say it. Huge break-up in my relational life. Left me heartbroken and wondering where God was. It was hard, and I ran for a little while, but He's faithful to bring us back.

Senior Year - Fell intimately in love with Jesus at World Changers before my senior year. Was so excited about Him that I talked about Him a lot, and lost a lot of friends for it. Have never been the same since. Found satisfaction in Jesus aside from friends, boyfriends, stuff, grades (missed co-salutatorian by thaaaaat much). He really was enough. When He became enough, God began giving back more.

So there it is - most remembered memories of my school life. I love memories... if they are good we enjoy their presence, if they are bad they give us some lesson to learn. They are beneficial. Sometimes painful. Sometimes joyful. But all part of our stories.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Time Slips Away

So quickly...
Most of you know that Aaron and I have agreed to start trying to conceive again this summer (thinking trying starting May or Junish). Our reasons for putting it off until then include wanting birthdays to be spaced out (assuming we get pregnant fairly easily and quickly), to make sure our basement is finished (making it easier to accommodate a family of four, especially on nights that Aaron needs to "get away" from it all), to get B a little "older" when his sibling gets here... it just helps to have a toddler who can do some things, and lastly, to prepare for baby number 2.
I've been SO excited about the idea of having another baby that I'm giddy, and reading everything I can on conception and second pregnancies, and raising a baby and a toddler. I even subscribed to about a month ago ;) I was a knotter, a nester, and now a bumper. :) It's all so exciting to me.
Now, we have all of these wonderful pregnant friends of ours who are having babies left and right and being wonderfully pregnant in our presence, and it gives me all the more the itch. And in thinking about the "what ifs" and doing about 4 bajillion due date calculators I've come to the realization that if our conceiving and pregnancy goes as scheduled, our babies could be 2 1/2 years apart.
You all are probably like "so what".
I've always wanted my kids close together... and 2 1/2 years seems kind of close when you're looking at a 15 and 12 year old... but not when you're looking at a 5 and 2 year old. I want my kids to enjoy their childhood together... to be great friends and accomplices, and so my prayer is that our conceiving goes quickly and on schedule. I would love to take a 7 1/2 and a 5 year old to Disney World. What great fun that would be!
Until next time!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Making Memories

So, I'm still reading this Donald Miller book. In it all something has occurred to me. As opposed to just let life happen to us, and, proverbially, pass us by, we need to become proactive about making life happen for us.
Look through some of my past blogs. You'll find that I'm a romantic, I'm sentimental, I long for family traditions and experience. I don't want regrets on my deathbed. I don't want to feel like I've missed out on anything. I like to be in control. (I'm being honest here, right?)
When combining those things with what I'm learning from this book I'm finding that ordinarily our lives pass us by with no memory. Think about growing up... say, 1st grade, what do you remember most about first grade? For me, it was my teacher's insanely long hair, and reading Little House on the Prairie books. I can't really remember what I did on the playground, or what our school books looked like, or even my birthday party that year.
In fact, when I look back I see that many years are like that for me. Not much out of the ordinary, not much different, just letting life happen to me.
Granted, as I've become older I've started being more proactive about life. 7 World Changers experiences, and I remember our house and people from every one. Going on the road and traveling. It's almost sad how much of that I remember, the names of churches and where they are located, and the strange lady that sat on the front row and very publicly breastfed her child while Ken preached. I can even remember feelings, vividly enough that if I think on it long enough, I feel it again. It was at times a tough time in our life, but life wasn't happening to us, it was happening for us.
I'm a picture taker and a video keeper. I want all of the memories I can get out of life. I want to remember as much of Bryton's childhood that I possibly can. I want to travel and let him experience life, to have opportunities growing up that I did not have.
It's for that reason that, sacrificing my couch and my comfort, I plan on doing life with my kids and my husband. Not letting it pass us by and wonder "where did the time go", but knowing that our time went to swimming for no reason, or weekend trips out of the blue, or zip-lining through Missouri (which I've actually looked into), or hiking or exploring caves, or just spending the day park hopping, or picnicing on our living room floor.
One thing I remember from my childhood... a friend's mom picked me up and took us to McDonald's, in the days of the play areas. We ate at the first McDonalds, played some, and went to another one where she got a soda, and we played at that one, and then to the next one. It was fun, and different.
Living life. Getting off the couch, getting away from my comfort. That's what it's about!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Being Domestic

Okay, it's time I make a confession. Deep in my being I have this desire to be a soccer mom. You know, the well groomed, well kept, fun mom who does spontaneous things with her kids to teach them and enjoy life with them. I have this desire to fix fun food and keep the house kept up, all while chasing my kids around the house and making mud pies with them outside. I want to be a hard worker, but still be enjoyable, to have the energy left to play with and enjoy my family. I want to be a blessing to my husband, lifting him up and encouraging him. I want my kids to know how much I love their daddy. I want to be the parents that packs the kids up for a road trip completely randomly, hitting the highway with an hours notice.
I want to work out.
Be a good steward of our funds.
Be a mom that my kids trust, respect, love, and enjoy.
Be a wife that my husband can say he's lucky to have. To be beautiful to him, both in appearance and deed.
I want to be a spiritual guide and mentor to my kids. For Jesus to be something they don't hear about, but that they experience in my life.
I want to make fun cakes for no reason.
I want to go to the park just because.
I want to go on long walks.
To play in the snow.
To swim with, play with, and cheer on.
So maybe it's not just soccer mom... maybe it's soccer mom meets Proverbs 31 woman.
That's what I want. This is what I aspire for... though making allowance for my faults.
I've thought about it a lot lately, and though I desire to contribute to my family financially, I also desire to have great quality time with my kids until they are in school. So until then... I'll work part time and bless my family now. Value is much more than money. I wish I could get that through my head.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

We Broke the Mold (But not really)

Valentine's Day is coming up, and, well, if you know me you know that I've been thinking about it since the day after Christmas. It's what I do. It's who I am. I'm a gift giver, mostly in thought as the funds are completely as there as I'd like them to be, but I want to be a blessing to those in my life. I've even been looking for something for Bryton this year... something to bless his little one year old world. I may make him a socktopus, more to come on that later.
Anyway, back to Valentine's Day. For several reasons the two of us, Valentine's Day and I, have a love / hate relationship. One of the things I love about it, though, is the opportunity to reflect on mine and Aaron's marriage. It's the time of year that we think about "really" loving the person we're in love with. What? What do we do that? Why do we wait for one (or two if you count an anniversary) days out of the year to really express our love for one another? It really frustrates me from time to time. Sometimes when I feel like the romance is all dried up (because we know it all happens occasionally), I wonder why. And the reason is because we allow it to... which is bunk. We devote so much passion and zeal into other areas of our lives but get so complacent we ignore our greatest relational priority apart from God Himself. The "submit to your husbands" and "love your wife as Christ loves the church things," yeah, we tend to mess those up on an universal level, I'm pretty sure.
For Aaron and I, God overcame geography, age, careers, social norm, and other failed relationships specifically to see the result of the two of us becoming one. The challenges faced, both directly and indirectly for us to just "be" is amazing. Amidst all unique factors, the love God showed us prevailed in our own relationship. How do I overlook this? If I considered this daily, in our "ordinary" living, I'd appreciate and respect our relationship more. I'd see what God has brought us through to get us where we are, that though our relationship is something that must be 'worked' on and 'untangled' from time to time, it is a relationship worth cherishing and devoting my effort and affection towards. Every good and perfect gift is from God, and 1 John 4:19 says we love because He first loved us. Isn't that beautiful?
So, babe, I love you, and I appreciate and respect you as my husband and the head of our household. I believe, thoroughly, that God has ordained and orchestrated "us" into His story, and that is an amazing privilege I do not take for Granted.

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Million Miles...

This is almost a pre-book review. So I just picked up "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" by Donald Miller. I appreciate Miller for several reasons. What I've read of his before, I find a great deal of honesty and a very easy read. (Exactly the opposite of the reason I love Lewis, not the honesty part, but the easy read part. Lewis stretches the expanses of my brain trying to wrap my head around it.) Anyway. Another reason I like Miller, I like it raw. I like searching through the sand to find the proverbial hidden treasures. I like seeing another person's "faith-walk", understanding that it is a walk, we all come at this from different angles, and appreciating their journey despite my agreeing and disagreeing with different aspects. I love the honesty.
Moving on. (I know, I'm rambling). In a nutshell, the book appears to be like this (remember, this is almost a pre-book review), Miller was approached to have a movie made about his life after having written Blue Like Jazz. In meeting with the writers / cinematographers, etc, Miller found that his life must be 'edited' to take out all of the boring and to make sure all of the random events had a plot, a story, a purpose. It was at that moment that Miller realized that his life was indeed a series of boring random events, with no plot, that, really, had no purpose. So, the book is about taking charge of those events, to give them purpose and life, making our lives good stories. After all, we only get one and it ends the same way for all of us.
I was asked today by a group of fourth graders about what I was reading and what it was about. It was fun and interesting trying to explain it to them.
I'll be sure to keep you posted while I read. So far, I'm impressed and enjoying the digging that goes along with it.
At this point my biggest fear is that I'll be continually reminded that my life my not be "going" anywhere. But, that's a good wake up call. The only way to change something is to be confronted with it... and I look forward to that!