New Normal(ish)

So we're in week three (I think, it's hard to keep track) of adjusting to our new normal (AKA unemployment) and so far it's not too different from our old normal.

Except Scott is, you know, around, a whole lot more.

Which is not a bad thing by any means, but it's an adjustment to my groove just the same. Please forgive me if that sounds horrible, I don't mean it that way at all, but our daily routine is different and we're still figuring stuff out. I'm trying to shift my sometimes Negative Nellie perspective to the Positive Pollyanna side by focusing on appreciating the gift of more time spent together. There are definitely projects around the house we need to tackle (yuck!) or lunches and matinees to run off to (whoop! whoop!).

This week Scott's going to three different job hiring events. Job fairs? Cattle calls?
I don't know if anything ever really materializes from these types of events, since they are so large, but he's hopeful his resume will end up in the right hands and maybe he'll get an interview.

If nothing else, he gets to break in his new suits. Grey with maroon tie on Monday (he waited to put on his suit jacket until right before because it's 8,429 degrees outside).
And navy suit, blue shirt and yellow power tie today (along with a yellow pocket silk, not pictured for a bit of extra WOW factor--and I do like that look but I still felt it my duty to tease him a bit about adding a gold pinky ring and telling everyone to call him Guido).
After so many years in a specialized industry (aerospace) he's hopeful his skills will transfer to general industries (like oil and gas). The good news is he's determined to stay open and positive about what the future holds for him. And for us.

Which is a good thing.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

"...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to the God the Father through him." Colossians 3:17


Menu Plan Monday: The Overdue Return

I don't think I have planned our menu in over two years. Or somesuch absurd length of time.

Can we still be friends?

I used to plan, really, I did.

But then I fell off the wagon.


I still cooked, occasionally, but we ate out enough to make you blush.

In an effort to be more intentional and better stewards of our money (especially during this season of my husband's unemployment), I am getting back to menu planning. For reals.
photo & recipe via pinterest
Monday: Lemon Chicken and veggies.

Tuesday: Meatloaf and veggies.

Wednesday: Pinto beans & turkey sausage, cornbread.
photo & recipe via pinterest
Thursday: Basil Pesto Chicken and veggies.

Friday: Who am I kidding? We'll probably eat out.

We'll eat leftovers for lunch and/or have a leftover buffet one night (or two). As for veggies, I'll keep it simple with roasted broccoli and zucchini, sauteed spinach or misc. frozen veggies. We're trying to limit  starches/carbs so no mashed potatoes with the meatloaf. Boo.

Okay, I'm off to fire up the Crock-Pot...

Be sure to check out more menus at OrgJunkie.com!

Happy Monday!

What are y'all cooking up this week? Do tell.


Saturday Confessions

So I was sitting here sipping my second cup of coffee and decided to blog. 

That could be a dangerous combination.

Sometimes I look at my blog posts and think, okay, this is some seriously random and insignificant drivel spattered occasionally with photos.

But this drivel is apparently my life.

And I certainly appreciate y'all stopping by from time to time and perusing my drivel. (!!)

Yesterday was rather monumental in the fact that we (and when I say we I guess I mean Scott) paid off our credit cards with some of his severance. Was that the best thing to do? Well, maybe. At least those balances aren't mocking us any more and we're not paying The Man ridunkulous interest. And that feels pretty good.

We've been talking about areas to cut back (casual spending and eating out to name a few biggies) and how to best navigate this new territory known as Unemployment.

Did I tell you we had this crazy dream of taking some of his severance and hightailing it over to Europe for a few weeks while he's unemployed?

Because that's responsible.

We're also talking about becoming Dave Ramsey-ites in search of financial peace. I know I have one of his books around here somewhere, I just have to find it.

So we're obviously off to a rip roaring start on that.

I do know that we must stop being slaves to instant gratification.

Which is a doozie.

I'm also trying to get inspired about meal planning, couponing and make ahead freezer cooking.

Doozies. Because I like them.

Earlier this week we had a parent-teacher meeting for all of second grade (two classes) and once again I  was appointed co-room mom by default because I don't work. And I guess I'm okay with that, I mean, I get it.

I hate the fact that I am 42 and still have (many, oh so many) moments of insecurity where I question any and everything. Or compare. Which is the kiss of death.

But back to insecurity. One mom, or maybe it was Mrs. H., asked me if  I drop off Annelise and I said yes and then another mom said," Oh, I walk Lovebug in every day!!" and I felt the need to back-pedal and explain that in reality I do both (drop and park and walk), it just depends on the day. I know, I know whether you drop off or park and walk in does not the better parent make, but I still felt that moment of, "Well, maybe I should walk her in every single day even if she doesn't mind one way or the other."

Welcome to my crazy.

Annelise was invited to a school friend's birthday party yesterday after school (which by the way is a neat time to schedule it because you still have Friday night and the whole weekend for whatever and it's kind of like one huge playdate). Scott wasn't sure if he'd go with me, I guess he was afraid of having to hang out with The Moms for 1.5 hours, but as it turned out there was a handful of dads there too so there was plenty of Man Talk. And cake.

The kids played a few games, one being The Mummy Wrap, which was a HOOT. Here's Annelise being in the process of being mummified:
And here she is near the end. HILARious, no?
They had loads of fun.

The birthday boy decided instead of gifts to ask for donations for Samaritan's Purse, which, hello, how awesome is that? We've broached the subject (ever so delicately) with Annelise, since her birthday is right around the corner, and believe it or not she was actually open to it.

Of course we assured her she would still get presents from family.

We brainstormed a bit and are considering asking for donations to either our local SPCA or animal shelter (there are two in our area).

Although I was kind of pushing for helping the humans.

We'll see.

Okay, I think I'm all randomed out and my coffee cup is empty.

Happy weekend, y'all!!

Have you followed Dave Ramsey's $$ plan?
Would you go to Europe or hunt for a job? Or both?
Any good sites for meal planning, couponing or freezer cooking?
Gifts or donations? Animals or humans?


InstaFriday {Vol.12}

Hello there InstaFriday-ites!

(No, it's not a cult, just a weekly linky party for cell phone photos)

Let's take a peek at some random happenings this week as captured by my iPhone. And I promise this edition will be short and sweet because guess who didn't take many photos this week? Was it me?

This is my new position in the car for school drop-off and pick-up:


Is what it is.

Since Scott is now officially unemployed we are both taking Annelise to school and picking her up.

Which she thinks is rather cool.

And it is.

But weird too because that has always been my thing.

I'm trying to adjust to a new normal.

Try. ing.

And it's kind of funny to watch Scott deal with the insanity known as the school parking lot.
With the first full week of school Annelise had her first week of homework.

My homework was to bake cookies.

(I think I like my homework better.)

This week we finally got our car washed.

And then, of course, it RAINED.
But we have been desperate for rain around these here parts of shriveled up Texas so I wasn't too upset about the car.

Someone is making an effort to be a sharp dressed man (cuz every girl's crazy for a...).
2 new suits.

A few snazzy new shirts and (power?) ties.

To hopefully stand out from the crowd.

Make a good first impression.

And get a job.

Fingers crossed.

And there you have a few snippets from my week, y'all.

Be sure to visit Life Rearranged for more InstaFriday fun!
life rearranged


Cheap Entertainment

Best $1.00 spent lately.
I big puffy letters with glitter l-o-v-e the $ Spot at Target.

(I'm a little late, but am linking up anyway.)
Sweet Shot Day

What's your favorite $ Spot find lately? Do tell.


Reality Bites: Homework

So it was Day 3 of second grade and things had been moving along swimmingly.

Up until approximately 3:50ish and it was time to do homework.

After the gathering of a snack.

And the gathering of a pencil.

And an eraser.

Because hardly any of our pencils have any erasers left on top.

Oh, we needed some paper too.

She attempted to write her spelling words on a piece of flowered notepad paper since that was close at hand, but I felt that might send the wrong message to her teacher.

Like we're a family without proper note book paper (shhh).

I scrounged around a bit and found an unused spiral (what are the odds?) and set her to her task.

To write 22 spelling words two times each.

She quickly did the math and balked.

But bravely soldiered on. Eventually.

Second grade is for reals, y'all.

Note to self: Buy some loose leaf notebook paper and a pack of pencils ASAP.


I'm a BPP: Birthday Party Procrastinator

(Our little pirate playing possum.)
Over the weekend we had the privilege of celebrating two special pirates boys 5th birthday (they're twins). All of the festive pirate games and activities and cake and presents and all around general LOADS OF BIRTHDAY FUN (sorry for all the shouting) got our little pirate's mind whirring about her own upcoming birthday.

It's threeish weeks away.

And we're just now talking about it.

What? Is that too large of a planning window?


Believe it or not I am a fan of the home birthday party. Sure I stress out and am positive nothing will be ready in time, but I like the idea of celebrating with friends at home best. The trend among her school friends though is to invite everyone in both classes, which has the potential of being 22-24 kids. She has friends in both classes anyway, and we certainly wouldn't want there to be hurt feelings over not being invited (these second graders talk), but the idea of that many children in our home sends shivers of terror down my spine.

We spent a good part of Saturday afternoon discussing possible options, which of course I feel I must pass along to y'all for your two cents. (And yes, I'm begging.)

1.) Lego themed party at our home on a Friday afternoon after school. Invite both classes (22-24+). Sheer panic.

2.) Roller skating party (it's not as crazy expensive as I feared). Invite only the girls (10-12). Mild anxiety attack.

I like the idea of the Lego party at home because this might be the last year she'll even consider inviting boys and girls, we can play a few party games and I can be creative with the invites, decorations, etc. Scott is afraid of that many kids playing outside on our trampoline and play set (which was knocked over in Hurricane Ike) and I can hardly wrap my mind around 22+ kids and parents milling around our home.

The rollerskating party might be easier (good) but not as personal (boo).

And that's as far as we got. 

All talky talky and no decisions.

What do y'all think?


InstaFriday {Vol.11}

Hey there y'all.

Ready for a glimpse of some random snippets from my week as captured by my iPhone?


Last Friday was Scott's last day at work. In case you're just tuning in around here, now that the space shuttle program has ended hundreds (thousands?) of NASA contractor engineer types have been--or will be--laid off, let go, handed their walking papers, told to hit the road...I think you get the idea. After signing oodles of last minute documents and grabbing one or two straggly boxes of Very Important Keepsakes and Papers from his cubicle, Scott was officially unemployed.

Did he immediately head for the local unemployment office (now I am suddenly thinking of George Costanza) or polish up his resume?

Um...not so much.
We went to the early bird matinee (only $5.00 each!!) to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, which was perfectly wonderful and made me want to read all the books again and watch all the movies in some sort of literary/movie freak marathon (I guess Scott could watch 'em with me since he's unemployed now).

Then we went to lunch.

And then?

We ran by the $ store to get candy and went back to the movies to see The Help.

Clearly we're in denial about possible effects of long term unemployment on our family.

But, seriously, you must go see The Help if you haven't.

Laughter. Uncomfortable truths. Anger. Tears.

Sooooo good.
Later that night we went to a favorite local burger joint/dive (Annelise was at her Pappo & Grandma's house).

And yes, those are Fritos on my burger.

I always get the Frito-Bean-Dito which not only has Fritos and refried beans, but salsa and cheese too.

Because, really, why not put all of that on a hamburger?
Tuesday night's big event was Meet the Teacher.

As it should be.

Annelise was tickled to pieces to meet Mrs. H., see her friends and check out her new digs desk.

As she should be.


After walking her in, watching her get settled and taking gobs of pictures, Scott and I retired to La Madeleine for a back to school boo hoo breakfast.

Okay, there wasn't a boo or a hoo, but it was delicious just the same.
Is there a better way to celebrate an awesome first day of second grade than with a trip to Marble Slab?

I think not.

(Can you see Scott's Chucks? He's been breaking them in--and I like them, really--but I can't help but think of Mr. Rogers just a little.)
Chocolate with M&Ms for Annelise, vanilla with Heath in a Heath dipped cone for Scott and coffee with Heath in a Heath dipped cone for me.

And finally, please don't call CPS or anything, but look at our little thrill junkie daughter:
She begs, mercilessly, to stand on the running board and hold on to the door handles while we drive down the driveway.

It freaks me out.

But sometimes I say yes.

So to recap:

*Movies are always a nice escape from reality.

*Annelise is a second grader now.

*And a daredevil.

*Food. We like it.

Hope y'all had a great week!

Be sure to visit Life Rearranged for more InstaFriday fun!
life rearranged


On My First Day of Second Grade {A Photo Montage}

Early bird wake-up call : Not so awesome.

Breakfast with my Lego ninja-go, new shoes, new messenger bag, new lunch bag (thanks to watching a commercial at my Pappo's house I am a proud new owner of a PackIt), Daddy AND Mama driving me to school (thanks to his recent lay-off), new classroom, nice teacher, new school supplies, seeing my friends and a word search waiting for me on my desk this morning : AWESOME.

Mama taking oodles of photos like some freaky stalker : tolerated. Moderately.

I think second grade will rock!


Sweet Shot Tuesday: Double Wide Smile

Someone's smile lately (well, since Sunday night) is a little extra wide, a little extra gapey and a whole lot of adorable.

So, who do I talk to about stopping this whole growing up thing she's got going on?

Be sure to visit My 3 Boybarians for more Sweet Shot Tuesday fun & photo inspiration.
Sweet Shot Day


InstaFriday {Vol. 10}

Hey there y'all!

Another week, another edition of InstaFriday where I share random moments of our week captured by my iPhone.

I know y'all are dyin' to see, so let's get started...
Nothing says bed time like spontaneous light saber battles. 

Kind of love that.
Yes, that is my 7 year old daughter vacuuming while I sit and drink a cup of coffee.

Why do you ask?

(Annelise wants to earn money for a Hermione Granger costume for Halloween.)
We girded our loins and shored up our courage to venture into Academy for back-to-school shoes.

And someone had to try on the football equipment and carefully inspect the Nerf & BB gun aisle.
But we managed to find a pair of sneakers without any bloodshed, so that's good.

(And she likes them!)

We then retreated for a late lunch at our favorite Tex-Mex place.

(We shared the fajita plate.)

While out and about, and feeling extra drippy and wilted from the heat, I could not resist the siren call of a Starbucks iced coffee.

Slap your mama, it was good.

 Smuggled movie snacks (apple & cheese & water for me; capri sun & baggie of pretzels, m&ms, goldfish & animal crackers for her) in my big purse.

(Y'all do that too, right?)
And even though the sign says Dollar Cinema, it should say $1.50 Cinema.

The price went up years ago and they've never changed the sign.

Which bugs me.

We saw Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer which we both declared darling and delightful.

Annelise and I were the only two people in our theater, which was a little creepy yet enjoyable at the same time.
It took four takes to get a self-portrait without eyes being closed, crossed or crazy.

Hers, not mine, of course.
We popped into the new Goodwill store near us on our way home and later walked out with two baggies of Star Wars toys and a .50 Judy Moody book, which seemed like fate.

While browsing the aisles at Goodwill we found a book and felt it our duty to text a photo to Scott.
It was called How to Find a Job in Houston.

But I texted him back and said I couldn't buy it because he was almost unemployed.

It's really good that Scott *gets* my sense of humor.

And there you have it, my friends.

A few snippets from my week.

Be sure to pop on over to Life Rearranged for more InstaFriday fun.
life rearranged

Happy Friday!
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